If I had to pick two favorite summer vegetables, they might be green beans and cherry tomatoes – so of course this salad is one of my very favorites. Not surprising, then, that when I saw the stalls at the farmers market overflowing with green beans this past weekend I had to stock up. I’ve made this with green beans from the grocery store in the past and it’s still excellent, but there’s something about fresh produce from the market that really makes things taste like summer.
Some of these beans look like they’ve seen better days, but I guess that’s just what beans look like when they come straight from the farm? Because they were delicious – both raw, as a snack while I spent hours trimming them (it was really only minutes, but for some reason that task is always a little daunting to me), and once they were cooked. Aside from the time it takes to trim the beans, this salad takes next to no time to prepare. You do have to turn your stove on, which is a bummer when it’s 90 degrees out, but I think it’s worth it. The good news is you don’t have to keep the stove on for long. Deb says to parboil the beans for 4-5 minutes, but that resulted in a bean that was a little too cooked for my taste. They weren’t overdone, but I prefer them crunchier so would suggest blanching for only 2-3 minutes, then cooling in an ice water bath (or just running them under cold water and throwing some ice cubes into the strainer with the beans, if you don’t want to dirty another bow). If you prefer a less-crunchy green bean, however, cook them for a few minutes longer.
Slice your tomatoes in half and toss with the vinaigrette. Add the beans just before serving. Fresh and healthy, simple and delicious, the perfect side for any summer picnic or barbecue – my favorite kind of summer salad!
One year ago: Zucchini and Ricotta Galette
Summer Green Bean Salad, from Smitten Kitchen (yellow bean version here)
1 lb. green beans (or mix of green and yellow)
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or more to taste, I used more)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or less to taste, I used less)
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil and/or other herbs, optional
For the veggies:
Rinse the beans, trim them (Deb calls this “top and tail,” I just think of it as cutting off the stringy parts), and chop them into large pieces. Parboil or blanch the beans in boiling salted water until just tender (4-5 minutes for parboil, 2-3 minutes for blanch, which I prefer as they stay a little crunchier). Drain immediately and cool, in ice water bath or otherwise. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and cut them into halves.
For the vinaigrette:
Peel and mince the shallot and toss with vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the oil and adjust seasoning as needed. Add tomatoes. This can sit for awhile, but wait to add the beans until just before serving as the vinegar will discolor the beans a bit. Toss beans with tomatoes and vinaigrette. Garnish with basil, parsley, or any herb of your choosing, if desired.
Enjoy outside in the sunshine! Happy summer!