Tuesday, September 08, 2009


With just two vegetables in a basic vinaigrette, this salad is almost too simple to talk about. You may note that it’s also suspiciously similar to this salad, but with shallots instead of corn. But it’s plenty tasty, and since it happens to contains the two vegetables I’ve been most obsessed with this summer (as well as following the vegetable + acid + shallots formula that’s worked so well for me in the past), I’m…going to talk about it anyway. After all, you can never have too many summer salads in your arsenal, particularly when the temperature hits the triple digits and forests in your immediate vicinity are on fire.

The recipe is from Chez Panisse Vegetables, via Smitten Kitchen, and I made it for the first time on the fourth of July, when A was out of town and some friends kindly invited me to share in their cookout, so I volunteered to bring salad and we all enjoyed it. But I forgot to photograph it or write about it, so I made it again last week, as a side dish for a hot-weather dinner of hummus and pita crisps. A, being not really a fan of either cherry tomatoes or green beans, politely tried a few bites and then gave me the rest of his bowl, so I guess we won’t be eating this all the time. But I’m fine with making myself a big bowl to eat by my lonesome when the green-bean-and-cherry-tomato craving strikes again.

I made a half-recipe, but otherwise no other modifications. I haven’t added an herb so far, but I do think basil would be tasty.

1 pound green beans (or a mix of green and yellow beans)
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Basil or other herb (optional)

1. Trim the beans and cut them into large segments. Parboil in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool.

2. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

3. Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a large bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette. This can sit for a while, but do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley.

Serves: 6
Time: 15 minutes
Leftover potential: Low to OK. I did eat some leftovers the next day and they tasted fine, but the vinegar had turned the green beans an unappetizing army green, so be forewarned.

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