As the weather cools, it doesn’t mean that salad is off the menu, but instead of those summery leafy greens, opt for those vegetables that you might normally enjoy warm. They make excellent seasonal salad ingredients. I am a little obsessed with grilled Green Beans at this time of the year. For me, they are the perfect salad ingredient as we head into Winter, and are abundant right now. Here they are combined with Butter Beans and a zesty vinaigrette to make a distinctly Mediterranean salad that is perfect on these warmer Winter days that I am basking in while up here in Jozi. This winter SUN!
The vinaigrette calls for a quarter cup Parsley, and then an extra tablespoon of any other fresh herbs. Mint might be dying back at this time of year, but it will make a welcome addition. I used Mint, with a tiny bit of Rosemary and Marjoram thrown in for good measure (ie I went on a bit of a herb-picking rampage in my Mom’s garden). Plain Parsley is fine, but adding anything else you may be able to get your hands on will add even more dimensions of flavour. The tomatoes are also not essential, and I only added them for a burst of colour for the pic. I am feeling that a poached egg might also take this salad to a whole new level. Yum!
If you want to find out all about cooking the perfect beans (Butter, Kidney, or otherwise) this will be one of the themes at the Temenos Winter retreat next month, as well as the Bean 101 demo taking place in KZN in August. We will discuss everything from soaking and cooking fresh beans, the pros and cons of using tinned beans, as well as looking at all those tips to improve digestibility. See you there! <3
250g Green Beans, trimmed and rinsed
2 Cups Cooked Butter Beans
1 Medium Onion, quartered and sliced (I used Red)
8-10 Olives, pitted
Tomatoes to garnish (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
60ml (1/4 cup) Olive Oil
60ml (1/4 cup) Lemon Juice
2 cloves Garlic, minced
60ml (1/4 cup) Parsley, finely chopped
1 TBSP Fresh Herbs, chopped (see above)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
- Place the green beans in a bowl and cover with boiling water to blanch. Allow to sit in the water for 2-3 minutes until vibrant green. Drain and rinse well under cold water. Heat a wok, griddle, or non-stick pan. Add the beans (no oil!) to the pan and turn very occasionally for 5-10 minutes so that they begin to speckle and char. Remove from heat and combine with the remaining salad ingredients.
- For the dressing, simply combine all ingredients and stir well to dissolve the salt. Adjust seasoning to taste and pour over the salad. Serve while green beans are slightly warm or allow to cool.