I really love gardening. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, I like seeing things grow…and eating them. Unfortunately gardens don’t like me much. Which is why I was thrilled when my daughter Claire showed a little more potential in this area. This year she decided to grow string beans. Perfect! I love string beans! But then, she left for vacation.
So off to farmer’s market I went, where I scored a big wad of beans grown by professionals.
With the kids on vacation I haven’t been cooking much. Plus it’s been hot and with no air conditioning in my house, turning on the oven just isn’t a wise idea. So I’ve taken to getting creative with salads, particularly those where I can make a big batch and eat on it for 2 or 3 days. This is one of those recipes. If you make it all up except for the goat cheese and nuts, it will keep in the fridge for days, and I actually liked it even better the second day than I did the first. Add the cheese and nuts when you are ready to eat it so the nuts stay crunchy and the cheese holds its shape.
Zippy String Bean Salad
1 pound green beans
1/2 cup red onion, sliced or chopped
1/2 red chile pepper, minced or thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar (I used apple jalapeno vinegar for an extra little kick)
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup walnut halves
Crumbled goat cheese – 1-2 ounces per serving
Trim the ends off the beans. Mix onion, chile pepper and vinegar in a serving bowl. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Toss in the beans and boil for 5 minutes. Do not boil these beautiful beans to death! They should still have a little snap to them. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Add to the vinegar mixture. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and toss well to coat. At this point you can refrigerate for later or the next day. Top with goat cheese and walnuts right before serving.