Friday, June 4, 2010
Green Bean Salad
Different seasons evoke different feelings for different people. The seasons also tend to dictate the foods we crave. In the fall, I like nothing better than fresh, crisp apples or spicy pumpkin pie. In the winter, hearty soups and stews reign supreme in our kitchen. Spring means sweet strawberries. And summer, summer means salad.
This green bean salad is one of my absolute warm weather favorites. Crisp, crunchy green beans are tossed with juicy, red tomatoes and slivers of fresh red onion. The dressing is simply olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Since there is no mayonnaise or dairy in the salad, it is a perfect choice for picnics and summer barbecues. I can guarantee you we’ll be digging in to this salad all summer long.
Green Bean Salad
Note: Unlike in my usual posts, I am not listing exact ingredient amounts for this salad. I am giving you a method more than a specific recipe. This way, you can adjust the ingredients to your taste and the number of people you are serving. Green beans should be the primary ingredient. Add more or less tomatoes and onions according to your preferences. The same goes for the dressing. You can make the salad more or less acidic, salty, peppery, etc.
Fresh green beans, ends trimmed
Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved, or regular tomatoes, diced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, bring a couple of inches of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are bright green and just barely cooked. (You want the green beans to still be crisp and have some snap to them.)
While the green beans are cooking, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Drain the green beans and immediately transfer them to the ice bath to stop their cooking.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled green beans, tomatoes, and red onion.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.