Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing

From Mel's Kitchen Cafe
The desired tenderness of the green beans is a personal preference so check them often while cooking to make sure they don't overcook (or stay too crunchy). Even though the leftovers of this salad don't look quite as appealing (the dressing softens everything up and cold bacon looks a little gnarly), it definitely ranks up there with my favorite leftovers to snatch at lunchtime.
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed if desired
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2-3 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cook green beans until tender, 5-10 minutes. While they cook, prepare a large bowl with an ice water bath. Immediately drain the beans into a colander (or scoop them out with a slotted spoon) and place the drained beans in the ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking. This will keep them bright green and perfectly tender.
  2. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Toss them in a bowl with the tomatoes.
  3. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the green beans and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and chill for at least an hour or up to 3 hours before ready to serve.
  4. Stir in the feta cheese and bacon right before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Maria's notes:  Yum!  I was determined that this year I would do something with my green beans besides canning them.  I decided to scour the garden to see if I could find enough to try out this salad, and I did.  I LOVE IT!  Haven't tried it on any of my family yet as it just finished chilling, but I'm willing to eat it all myself.  I think I will keep the bacon separate and just sprinkle it on top of each serving so it stays crisp.

No comments: