I had a friend whose idea of green bean salad meant draining canned green beans and dousing them in bottled Italian salad dressing. The memory of those drab, soggy beans as green bean salad still makes me grimace. Instead, try this easy, vibrantly colored green bean salad with sweet tomatoes and corn. Serve it chilled and breathe a sigh of relief on hot summer days.
For my 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. The cooking term is called shocking. After a few minutes in ice water, drain and dry the green beans. Place in a bowl and add tomatoes, corn and feta cheese.
Please see the recipe card for measurements.
- Green beans: I use the baby green beans sometimes labeled haricort vert, their French name
- Tomatoes: either sweet grape or cherry
- Corn kernels: Off the cob or get the loose frozen roasted and thaw
- Feta cheese: either crumbled or get a block and crumble yourself
- Mint leaves: optional but adds such nice flavor, or use fresh thyme
- Extra virgin olive oil: for the vinaigrette
- Lemons: don't use the bottled juice
- Garlic: fresh is best
- Salt and pepper
For tomatoes, I like the sweet grape and cherry tomato varieties. Their natural higher sugar content makes them sweeter than regular tomatoes and wonderful to eat in salads of all kinds.
Sweet Grilled Corn
For corn, be sure to choose organic only otherwise it's likely GMO. I’ll grill a couple of ears then slice 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 goat milk feta, but use your favorite style.
Dress the Salad with Herbed Vinaigrette
For dressing, whisk together a fresh vinaigrette. This is the same recipe I use for the grilled lemon mint chicken breast. While the the mint is refreshing, fresh oregano or thyme works well too. The full batch will make extra. 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. Use any extra vinaigrette for green salads or try it as a marinade for grilled chicken breasts or shrimp.
Green Bean Salad with Sweet Tomatoes and Grilled Corn
- 3 lemons
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint leaves
- 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 ounces baby green beans haricot vert
- 1 ½ cups of sweet grape or cherry tomatoes in mixed colors half pound, halved lengthwise
- 4-6 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 2 ears of corn grilled and kernels cut from cob, or about ½ cut of frozen kernels, thawed
- Salt and pepper to taste, plus salt for boiling the green beans
- Fresh chopped mini or chives for garnish optional
- Make the vinaigrette. Zest one lemon first, then juice all three. You will need ⅔ cup of lemon juice for the vinaigrette. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add mint, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Ready a large bowl filled halfway with ice and topped with cold water. Bring a large pot of water (4-5 quarts) to a boil and add two teaspoons of salt. Add green beans and cook for 4-5 minutes. At 4 minutes, quickly toss one green bean into the ice water test for doneness. You want them crisp-tender. If it’s done enough for you, place the green beans in the ice water immediately to stop the cooking process and set the color. If not, cook that additional 1 minute then move to the ice bath. After a few minutes in the ice water, drain the beans and allow them to dry. At this point you can refrigerate the green beans until you are ready to serve them. You can even cook them a day ahead.
- When ready to serve, make your vinaigrette. Add the green, tomatoes, feta and corn to a large bowl. Toss with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on additional chopped fresh herbs if using. Pass more dressing at the table in case someone would like a little more.