I had a friend whose idea of green bean salad meant draining canned green beans and dousing them in bottled salad dressing. Yuck. The memory of her serving drab, soggy beans as green bean salad still makes me grimace. No need do that when a fresh, vibrant colored green bean salad is so easy to make. Serve it chilled and breathe a sigh of relief on hot summer days.
Haricot Vert: French Baby Green Beans
For my version of a green bean salad I use the tender baby green beans sometimes called by their French name, Haricot Vert. Cook just 4-5 minutes in boiling salted water followed by a plunge into ice water. This stops the cooking process and sets the color to a vibrant green.
After a few minutes in ice water, drain and dry the green beans. Place in a bowl and add tomatoes, corn and feta cheese.
Sweet Grape Tomatoes
For tomatoes, I like the sweet grape and cherry tomato varieties. Their higher sugar content makes them sweeter than regular tomatoes and wonderful to eat in salads of all kinds. These are the tomatoes that finally got me to love raw tomatoes!
Sweet Grilled Corn
For corn, I’ll grill a couple of ears then cut the kernels off the cob. If you don’t have fresh corn (or a grill), frozen corn kernels work fine, just thaw first. Lastly, add your feta. I like the tang of Greek sheep’s milk feta, but use your favorite style.
Dress the Salad: Herbed Vinaigrette
For dressing, whisk together a fresh vinaigrette. Try the recipe I posted along with grilled lemon mint chicken breast. While the the mint is refreshing, fresh oregano or thyme works well too. A half batch should be plenty.
Drizzle on your vinaigrette before serving and toss gently. This green bean salad is a great side dish for barbecued meat, poultry and fish. It’s easy and healthy for hot weather entertaining, picnics and tailgating.
For an extra flourish, scatter fresh chopped mint or chives over the top before serving and pass extra vinaigrette if desired.
Grill extra corn and try this corn chowder from Simply Recipes
Green beans: not just for Grandma’s Thanksgiving casserole, featured at Women’s Health Magazine