Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Greek Green Bean Salad
What happens when you have a professional photographer over for dinner? You get professional shots of your food! SCORE! My friend Stacy met me at our old house to take some new photos for the listing. As a pro, she's got the equipment to take some wide angle shots so she was able to really do justice to the old place. After photos, we were off to the new house for a tour. She loved the kitchen and the master bathroom in particular. So do we. And, all the windows and all the trees. Yes, we do love our new home!!!
I'd had Connie pick up some salmon, green beans, strawberries and cherry tomatoes. The basis for a really fun meal. We made our favorite Salmon with Marmalade Glaze
and my mom's parmesan noodles. Except, I used truffle cheese in place of the parmesan. Oh, la la!
Along side that I made a salad with strawberries and a green bean tomato salad.
Let's start with the salad with strawberries. There's a place called Queen Creek Olives outside of Phoenix in Queen Creek. Addictive. Highly addictive olives. And, olive oil. And, balsamic vinegar. And lots of other wonderful things like barbecue sauces and cheese spreads and chutneys. Oh, yes. I order their stuff by the case. And, we inhale it. Last time I was in Phoenix I went to one of their stores and taste tested. One of the combos I bought was rosemary olive oil with a cranberry balsamic glaze. I heated a bit more than a tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet and added cored, halved strawberries. When they'd warmed through a bit, I poured some of the cranberry balsamic glaze in. Connie had thinned the mesclun in the garden so I mixed that with some chopped beet greens. The warm strawberries and dressing were poured over and served.
The noodles are medium egg noodles cooked then tossed with butter, fresh parsley and shredded cheese. Couldn't be simpler. And, every time I make them Connie tells me how much he likes them. Me too!
Last but not least, the green bean and tomato salad. I'd read a blurb in a magazine recently about green beans, tomatoes and feta cheese. This was served with a bottled Greek vinaigrette. Um, thanks but no thanks. There are very few bottled dressings I'll use. Most of them taste old and stale to me. Probably thanks to all the preservative crap they put in them... Oh, well, I'd make my own. I went on food.com and found a recipe by Sue Lau. She mentioned using her dressing on kalamata olives. Bingo, I'd add those. And, we had a jar of pickled garlic that was just screaming to be opened. Now, the recipe called for oregano. But, I wanted to use basil. Don't ask me why because oregano is the quintessential Greek seasoning. But I did so I did. LOL. That's the benefit of being the chief cook around here. My kitchen. My rules. To quote a coffee mug from fine young stepson Matthew.
We loved the whole dinner. Ate it out on the deck. Watched the hummingbird come and drink many times. Loved the view. And, loved the break from the heat and humidity. I know it'll be back but for one evening it was delightful.
So, here's the recipe:
Greek Green Bean Salad
for the salad:
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 c Kalamata olives, chopped
For the dressing:
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t oregano (I subbed 6 basil leaves, minced - added to the salad, not the dressing)
1 t kosher salt
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t sugar
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch the green beans for a couple of minutes. Drain them and dump them into an ice bath. You want them dark green and slightly crunchy. Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Crumble the feta cheese. Drain the green beans and toss the salad fixings together. You might want to add pickled garlic (chopped) or pepperoncini (chopped) or if you're adventurous, minced jalapeno. Mix all of the dressing ingredients except the olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil so the dressing will emulsify. Pour the olive oil over the salad ingredients. Toss well and serve.
adapted from food.com by Sue Lau