This is turning into one of my favorite side dishes for the summer. It’s delicious and for sure that is the most important factor in deciding whether a dish will make an appearance again in our house. Who wants to spend time making something that’s just….blah? Before discovering this salad I have to say that I rarely, if ever, made string beans. They were the forgotten vegetable over here! I can’t begin to tell you why, I just never made them. But all that has changed now.
Another two factors determining if I repeat a dish…ease in preparation and how long leftovers last. This recipe excels in those two areas. I mean….EASY. These little string beans do require a bit of work (cutting off the ends and steaming), however, that’s about the only work you will be doing, other than some light chopping. And they last a long time in the fridge! Honestly, I forgot about a tiny bit I had leftover in the back of my fridge (for like 5 days) and decided to risk my life and eat it (it smelled fine!) and lo and behold, I’m still here to write about it. It was still good!
You know what else I love about this recipe? It’s just different. Well, for my kitchen, at least. As I mentioned, I don’t make string beans, ever, so it’s a lovely change. Also, there’s an herb in here that I hardly use – tarragon. It adds a very nice little ‘something’ to this salad.
This healthy salad is a perfect side dish that I love serving with grilled chicken breasts or even fish. We are trying to cut back on our red meat intake, but I can just imagine this salad going so well with a thick, juicy steak. Yummy!
Here’s what you will need to serve 4-6 as a side dish…
1.5 lbs string beans, stem ends cut
1.5 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, very finely chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
kalamata olives (optional)
Steam string beans until just tender, approximately 10 minutes. Beans should still have a crunch to them, you don’t want to overcook and have them mushy. Remove beans from steamer and allow to cool on a sheet pan. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove excess water with a paper towel. Place beans in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes (and olives if you decide to use them).
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk the olive oil with the shallots, tarragon, parsley and some salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the bean mixture and toss well. Transfer to a platter and serve.
Salad lasts several days in the fridge, just allow it to come to room temperature before serving. This will allow the dressing to loosen.
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.