This simple salad is a delicious summer treat, when tomatoes and green beans are fresh and aplenty. Also, when it comes to salads, many of us are stuck on lettuce, which, despite all of its wonderful qualities, can get boring after awhile.
It’s also light and travels well, which is good for in between rehearsals and classes.
In this recipe, quickly blanched green beans take the place of lettuce, and are paired with sweet red tomatoes (cherry, grape, beefsteak or heirloom all work).
- To blanch the beans, drop them into a pot with two inches of boiling water. Leave them until they just turn bright green. Remove from water and drain. Beans should be cooked but still snappy and bright.
- Chop tomatoes. Use a variety that you like.
- Toss green beans with finely chopped shallot, fresh basil, olive oil, and lemon juice to taste. (Note: lemon juice will discolor the green beans when stored, so only use as much as you are going to eat. Or, substitute vinegar for the lemon juice.)
- Grind black pepper over the top and salt to taste.
This salad is even better the second day when it’s had a chance to marinate.
Once you’ve got this recipe down, you can try some variations on the produce just to make it more interesting. Farmers have been cultivating older varieties of both tomatoes and string beans of late, so you can now find them in interesting colors that can really enliven the look of your meal. Give them a try!
- Cherry, yellow, orange, or heirloom tomatoes
- Yellow or purple string beans
- Shaved parmigiano cheese, small mozzarella balls, or crumbled feta cheese
And of course, it’s good for you! Tomatoes (a fruit) and green beans (a vegetable) are whole foods- unaltered and natural- full of vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Devour with joy!