Got beans? Transform your garden-fresh veggies into this bold, flavorful Green Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette. It will delight your tastebuds.
For years, my kids and I have planted, nurtured and grown different varieties of green beans. From the slender purple haricot verts (which turn green when cooked) to the flat romano beans to the not quite green wax beans, we’ve tried so many varieties over the years.
This summer, we have two varieties growing and they are coming up strong.
When it comes to growing beans, timely harvesting is essential. I’ve learned this the hard way.
As string beans — green beans, haricot verts, flat beans, wax beans, etc — ripen, they reach a point of perfection. That’s when you want to pick them. If you don’t, they will continue to look great but at some point, the beans inside the edible pods will grow and grow. And when you go to cook them, the beans will remain waxy and hard. Not good.
When I visited our garden on a recent morning, I found perfect beans — slender purple ones that had just shed their fuss. Flat romano beans just waiting to be plucked from the bushy plants. And so I picked everything that was ready and it happened to be enough for this delightful recipe.
This recipe starts with fresh, blanched green beans. Use whatever varieties you want — you can even mix them up as I did here. When harvested at the right time, the green beans become crisp-tender in minutes after being plunged into boiling water. Once they’re just right, you want to cool them as fast as possible. Some people like to use an ice bath for this, but I find that running them under cold water and mixing them around a bit does the trick just fine.
Next, it’s time to make the salad. The green beans are cut in half (about 2-inch pieces) and mixed with halved cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced red onions. I use a mandolin to cut my onions ultra-thin, but you could use a knife (and even cut them a bit thicker).
The basil vinaigrette comes together easily in a small food processor or blender. Just add the basil leaves, vinegar, oil, garlic, honey, salt and pepper and whirl until it’s perfectly emulsified.
Don’t have a machine for this? That’s okay. To make the vinaigrette by hand, you’ll want to finely chop the basil and garlic and then whisk it all together briskly with the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper. It will take a bit longer — and a bit more arm power — but will work as well.
Then, finally, toss the green bean mixture with the vinaigrette until everything is well coated.
I love this green bean salad. It’s so vibrant and bold, so fresh and exciting. It’s everything that’s good about summer produce and flavors fresh from the vine.
You can eat it immediately. Or keep it chilled until you are ready to serve. It stays fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. But it might not last that long anyway — it’s just so good.
- 2 cups beans such as green beans, haricot verts, wax beans or flat beans,
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut the beans in half (about 2-inch pieces).
- Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. Add the green beans and blanch for 2-3 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water until cooled.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the green beans with the tomatoes and red onions.
- In a blender or small food processor, add the basil dressing ingredients. Whirl until well combined. Pour over the bean mixture. Toss well to combine.