Green Bean Salad (and how I blanch green beans)

26 Jul

Same stuff, different URL!

I have moved to: harvette.com

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Green bean salad (basically blanched green beans and any number of vegetables with a vinegar/oil dressing) is one of my summer favorites. I bring it to parties, make it at home for dinner or for barbecues. It always goes over well and tastes great left over!

The trickiest part to this salad, for me, was getting the blanching process right. Following directions found in cookbooks or online, I’d always blanch the beans for too long and they would be mushy. I like my green beans to still have a definite snap to them, for the blanching to only take the very edge of rawness out.

I’ve developed a process that seems to work every time:

Bring a large pot of water to boil while removing the ends of the beans and filling a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. As soon as the water reaches a rolling boil, drop the beans in. Immediately set a timer for 2 minutes (or even just 1 minute 30 seconds if you’re not blanching a large amount of beans). The water will begin to boil again, usually about 30 seconds later they are ready. I use a large strainer spoon (that I picked up for a failed attempt at donut making, but has served me well for BOTH cheese making and vegetable blanching ever since!) to quickly transfer the beans from boiling to ice water. Let them cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a towel-lined plate to dry.

Normally I’ll blanch the beans earlier in the day, refrigerate them, then throw the salad together right before serving. Yesterday, for a family barbecue, I made a balsamic reduction dressing – basically I had some balsamic that has never tasted sweet enough to me (the sweeter and syrupy the better – but this bottle was cheap!), so I simmered it about 15 minutes to bring out a sweeter flavor. I think it could have used a bit more time, but it did taste sweeter. I mixed that with a splash of olive oil, basil and black pepper to make the dressing.

To the green beans I added: sliced campari tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese and toasted sunflower seeds, then poured the dressing over, letting it sit about 15 minutes before serving.

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2 Responses to “Green Bean Salad (and how I blanch green beans)”

  1. Frugal 'n' Fit! July 27, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Your salad looks amazing!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I remembered! « Frugal 'n' Fit: The pursuit of wealth and health! - July 27, 2010

    […] official:  I love green beans in salad.  I’m not the only one!  These just tasted so fresh.   I also love corn mixed with the balsamic vinaigrette and feta.  […]

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