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Green Bean Salad Surprise

The surprise here being just how good this salad turned out to be, considering I was simply tossing a bunch of things together to have a quick picnic to take out to a Thursday-night Fort Reno Park show. This was the perfect meal for sitting out on the grass in the evening sunlight, watching the gathered crowd, the families, and the romping dogs, marveling how velvet summer air can be when the usual July humidity lifts its suffocating embrace, and listening to some great music.

The take-away here is that it really is useful to have some prepped ingredients on hand, like par-boiled green beans. I had prepped these fresh green beans a day or two before, snipping the ends and cutting the longer ones in half to get a more even size distribution. Then I boiled them in salted water for about five minutes, or until just tender. You could also steam them, in which case you might want to salt them to taste before putting them in the fridge for later use.

Green Bean Summer Salad:

Note: I made this in an 18-oz. lunch container, and the portion was plenty for one person or to share as a side dish for two people, along with some fried chicken or a crusty baguette. Ingredients are a rough estimate, no measuring was done in the preparation of this salad.

  • About 1/2 pound of cold cooked greens beans (cooked in salted water, ideally)
  • A handful of roasted, salted peanuts
  • About 1 Tbs crumbled feta cheese (or more to taste)
  • Sesame oil (enough to coat the beans)
  • A very small amount of salsa verde (maybe 1/4 tsp or so)

In a bowl or other container (preferably one with a lid), toss the green beans with the peanuts, crumbled feta, and the salsa verde. Add in the sesame oil and mix thoroughly. For example, secure the container with a lid, pack it in a picnic bag, and then carry it up a slight incline at a brisk pace for about 15 minutes, ensuring that the contents are gently shaken. Or just toss everything the more usual way and then let it sit a few minutes for the flavors to meld before serving. The feta will sort of dissolve into the oil a bit, to become part of the dressing, making it creamy and smooth. I wish I’d had a fresh baguette to go with this, but the dark pumpernickel bread with butter made for a wonderfully complete meal too.  And of course this would be a great lunch, thrown together in the morning and then ported to work with you by way of mixing everything.



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