Equally good hot or cold, this Green Bean Salad is sure to become a favourite. Simple and easy (very much my kind of food), the beans are steamed and then mixed with mint, garlic and lemon. Take it straight to the table for an instant salad, entree/starter or snack. With some crusty bread, it can even become a light lunch.
This beautiful garlic with only 1 bulb (no cloves) is nutty in taste and especially good roasted or cut into slices and crispy fried.
Green Bean Salad | Insalata di Fagiolini
800g Green Beans, topped and tailed
2 sprigs fresh mint
2 thick slices of a garlic clove
5 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
(optional) fresh lemon juice or few drops of an excellent white wine vinegar
Steam the beans or simmer in plenty of well salted water until al dente, 5 – 8 minutes. Drain well.
In a bowl, mix the beans with the mint, garlic and olive oil. Season just to taste, don’t over salt. Allow the beans to cool, occasionally tossing through the dressing.
Immediately before serving, stir in the lemon juice or wine vinegar.
recipe notes and alternatives
Optional additions include black olives, chives or parsley, walnuts, or feta.
More Ways to Use Green Beans
Elizabeth David serves her beans plain with butter or olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Top and tail the beans and cut into 5 cm lengths. Simmer in well salted water until al dente and serve with melted butter or oil and black pepper.
Make a Niçoise Salad including beans.
Simmer until al dente and serve with crispy garlic and toasted almonds.
Make a salad of green beans, tomatoes and dill. Add softly braised onions and garlic. Dress with olive oil, lemon.
Mix them with Freekeh, walnuts and tahini.
The Roman gourmet, Apicius, suggests serving them with mustard, honey, pine nuts, rue, cumin and vinegar. Rue is hard to get these days. Perhaps use Witlof or Radicchio.
Add a little Sichuan Pepper to a Green Bean Salad.
Stir fry green beans in ghee with a little fresh or frozen coconut and some cumin powder, for an Indian flavour.
Walnuts and basil pair well with green beans. We do that in many of our recipes. Cook the beans as usual and drizzle with walnut oil, adding torn basil, and some dry-fried or toasted chopped walnuts.
Mix cooked beans with a little grainy mustard and some balsamic vinegar.