8 cups water
1/3 cup dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1/3 cup dried red kidney beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups string beans, topped, tailed, and cut in 1inch lengths on the diagonal
4 strips smoked bacon, cut into small strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijonstyle mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for garnish
In two medium saucepans, bring 5 cups of water (2 1/2 cups in each) to a boil. Drain the soaked black and red beans separately in a strainer. Add the black beans to one pot and the red beans to another, reduce the heat under both to medium, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the beans are tender but not soft. Drain the beans separately in a colander and set aside, covered.
Bring the remaining 3 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in one of the saucepans, and fill a large bowl with cold water and add several ice cubes to it. Cook the string beans for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on their size, until they are tender but still bright green. Immediately drain them and plunge them into the ice water to retain their green color. Drain and dry on paper towels.
In a medium heavy skillet cook the bacon strips over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. Measure 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and, in a small bowl, whisk it together with the vegetable oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. In a large serving bowl, combine all the beans and drizzle the dressing over. Toss gently just to coat all the ingredients evenly, crumble the bacon over the top and serve while still slightly warm, garnished with lemon wedges.
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