Are you weary of the same rotation of summer salads?
Last night, I realized that I was, most definitely. I love a green, fruit, potato, bulgur or pasta salad as much as the next person, but sometimes I need to step back and rethink my options. Lucky for me, a friend delivered a paper bag stuffed full of green beans–still warm from the sun–to my doorstep. Hmm, how about a green bean salad?
I love to load up my salads with a little bit of everything, but I aimed for restraint here, so just some tomatoes, olives, red onion and feta cheese. The green beans were so fresh and flavorful that they barely need any cooking, and they certainly didn’t need myriad ingredients to enhance their beauty.
I whisked a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and tarragon. My mother often used tarragon on green beans so the subtle scent of licorice remains one of my prefered flavors with fresh beans, and asparagus, too. Balsamic vinegar remains one of my favorite additions; I love its full, round, not too sharp flavor. Its subtle sweetness brings out the flavors of myriad vegetables, in particular.
This is what summer eating is all about: simple, fresh, delicious and satisfying. Enjoy!
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, and tarragon. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to cool, and set aside until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
In a large bowl, combine the green beans, tomatoes, olives and red onion. Add the feta cheese and vinaigrette just before serving. Toss well and serve at room temperature or chilled.