Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Chilled Bean Salad for a Hot Summer Picnic!

Hello, dear readers! Sorry for the brief hiatus - the hubs and I were enjoying a long weekend at the lake with our friends. Good times and good eats were had by all. But now it's back to bloggin'!

One of my favorite things about our CSA farm is the crazy varieties of heirloom and specialty veggies that we get from them - these Chinese Red Noodle Beans come in every summer - they are over a foot long and naturally coil up like snakes. It's fun to cook with these because you can show your guests you're feeding what they look like before (ew!) and what they look like afterwards (yum!).

The recipe for this chilled bean salad comes from our CSA farm's cookbook that they make just for their shareholders. I've changed it a bit over the years, and it is a crowd pleaser every time. Now, don't worry about going out and trying to hunt down Chinese Red Noodle Beans! This salad is fabulous with regular old green beans, too! The dressing is slightly sweet and tangy, and the feta cheese gives this salad that creamy, zesty punch.

Purple Bean Salad
inspired by a recipe from our CSA farm's cookbook

2 pounds fresh purple beans, or a mix of yellow, green, and purple beans
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fresh thyme (optional)

Trim stem ends of beans and cut the beans into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Steam in the microwave or in a stove-top steamer until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cool water before transferring to a bowl. Cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, dijonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking the mixture. Pour over the beans, and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with fresh thyme.


Anonymous said...

How awesome are the color of those beans!! :)

Cate said...

I've never seen beans like that, but I definitely want to try this (even if it has to be with regular old green beans!)

Jessica Segarra said...

Looks delicious, as usual! :-)

cookbookoftheday said...

We just love these beans! Growing them as we speak!

Laura said...

They're gorgeous! Farmer's Markets are the best.


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