Whenever I see those super cool yellow wax beans at the grocery store, I have this itch to fill up a bag and go to town. Cool produce just calls to me. But inevitably I get it home and then seem to be at a loss of what to actually make with it. Luckily for this trip I was in possession of this fantastic salad recipe that takes advantage of all of the flavor and beauty of the late summer harvest. A fresh and delicious end to the summer.
Tomato and Green Bean Salad
From How to Roast a Lamb, as seen at Leite's Culinaria
For the red wine and feta vinaigrette:
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 small onion, sliced and grilled until tender
6 basil leaves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 shallots, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano, or less to taste
2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad:
½ pound string beans, preferably a mix of green beans and yellow wax beans, ends trimmed
⅓ to ½ cup Red Wine and Feta Vinaigrette (above)
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into rough wedges
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
½ small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
6 small sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and torn
6 small sprigs dill, leaves picked and torn
16 leaves mint, torn
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the vinaigrette:
Combine the vinegar, onion, basil, thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until smooth and satiny. Season the dressing with pepper. You can use the vinaigrette immediately or set it aside for up to several days, stirring to recombine just before using.
Assemble the salad:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Blanch the beans until tender but still snappy, about 3 minutes. Then use tongs or a large slotted spoon to move them to the ice water bath, swishing them around. Drain well and place on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
In a bowl, combine the beans, feta, tomatoes, oregano, red onion, torn herbs, and as much of the vinaigrette as you desire and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, although taste it first as you may not need more salt due to the feta.
Makes 4 to 6 servings