I love veggies, I love salads…but sometimes you just get sick of the same ole, same ole. Right? Sometimes you just have to change things up a bit. You get sick of lettuce or spinach, heck even my favorite of eating Kale gets old. Eating healthy is the first thing to go if you don’t allow for variety and who wants to slave over a hot oven when it’s hot out. Um, not me thank you very much! So, if you are looking for that perfect healthy side with variety built-in, look no further.

I came across a bazillion recipes with their own recipes and they all seemed to be missing something. One I was even not totally sold on. Thinking, hmm…I don’t know. However I just took the plunge and went for it and added my own twist as always. Healthy, Light and Quite tasteful!

Green Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Click Here for Printable Version: Green Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

The Goal and Key behind the success of this entire recipe – The perfectly steamed bean! 

Serves about 7-8 people or as we say more for leftovers the next day! 🙂

  • Approximately 1.5 to 2 lbs Lightly Steamed Green Beans Trimmed and kept long
  • 1 Cucumber cut into long strips about the size of the beans. Don’t use seeded part of the cucumber. Just trim the cucumber from end to end all the way around until you hit the seeded part and discard. Cut in very thin slices.
  • 1 red pepper cut into long thing strips
  • 1/2 red onion into thin strips
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved or quartered depending on size.
  • 1/3 cup of light feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup walnuts lightly chopped

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 2-3 cloves of freshly pressed garlic
  • 1 juice from a lemon
  • 1/2 cup of EVOO
  • 1 small shallot or 1/2 large shallot finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon of dried parsley or better yet 1 Tablespoon of fresh if you have on hand.
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large stock pan with about 3/4 filled with water to boil. Set aside a bowl of ice-cold water with plenty of ice for beans after they have been blanched to cool off and prevent further cooking. You could also use a vegetable steamer for this as well. I just find it easier to check them as I visually see them boiling.

Chop veggies.

Lightly salt water and place beans in with pan on high uncovered. Set timer for 3 minutes. At 3 minutes, test one. If it’s still crunchy, continue to check minute by minute. You want it al dente basically. Just past the crunchy point, chewy but not soggy or limp. As soon as you start to see a very fain green in the water they are either done or very close to done. Mine took about 5 or 6 minutes to get to this point. Immediately remove and place in ice bath. Stir them around to ensure beans get mixed and cooled off. Set side.

Make vinaigrette.

Drain beans. Place everything in a bowl.  Lightly season with salt and pepper. Mix it up well by hand. Cover with Saran wrap and place in fridge. Let everything meld and sit in fridge for at least an hour or even two if you can.

Vegan Suggestions:

Eliminate feta for vegan alternative, perhaps something crumbly and/or salty like a tempeh or tofu and nutritional yeast mixed or cheese alternative. Not sure if they have a vegan feta.

Raw Vegan Version:

Skip steaming of beans and mix and prepare salad. Let marinade a good 3-4 hours or possibly over night.

I received complements from 3 of my family members who really aren’t into eating veggies and even they were impressed. I have always said that how you prepare your veggies determines their fate. If you over cook them, under cook them, don’t season them with flavor or you use frozen instead of fresh, the average person is likely to not enjoy them. It’s a little bit of everything, especially if you are a virgin veggie eater. 🙂 You need to be fully convinced of their truest potential. This recipe definitely incorporates all of the above. Fresh, perfectly cooked and seasoned with a whole orchestra of flavor. Most importantly, preserving as much of the nutrient content in the bean as possible.

Happy Foodie Friday!

-J

P.S. I should have a photo for you sometime tomorrow evening included in the post and the printable format if you would like to print one out or you can print it out now without.

-J

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