It’s funny how sometimes you can get so caught up with new ingredients and complex presentations, that you forget how sublime the very simple can be. Both Mr GP and I love green beans, but for some reason they are generally so expensive (up to $13/kg) that I don’t often buy them, and if I do, it’s as an addition to a more complex dish such as Salad Nicoise.
Recently however, the local markets have been selling bags of up to 1kg of lovely beans for as little as $2.50, so I’ve had beans to play with. We’ve had lots just steamed, which I love, but I started thinking about salads, and remembered a bean salad that is one of my mum’s regulars along with the classic potato one I posted recently, but that I haven’t made for years because of those $13 beans.
The salad consists of boiled beans and vinaigrette, that’s it! The vinaigrette is a robust one, with cider vinegar, capers and lots of mustard, and the beans fully cooked (“just past the ‘squeaky’ stage” mum says) rather than al dente. The result is both as simple as a salad can be, and incredibly delicious – the green nuttiness of the beans perfectly offset by the piquant dressing.
Green bean salad
- 500g green beans
- 1 Tbs cider vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs small (preferably salted) capers
- salt and pepper to taste
Top (and tail if necessary) beans, and cook in boiling salted water for approx 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, then leave to drain again in a sieve. Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil until smooth and emulsified. Whisk in capers and season to taste with pepper and salt – you shouldn’t need a lot with the mustard and capers. Toss beans and dressing together, noting that the beans will discolour slightly if dressed in advance, so dress at the last minute if you want them to stay that fresh green. I actually prefer this the next day when the beans have absorbed all that flavour, but it isn’t as pretty. 🙂
Serves 4-6 as a side dish