One of my favorite veggies ever, green beans have so many possibilities. While we've been eating the canned version in green bean casseroles lately and I tend to default to roasting or steaming and serving fairly plain with the fresh ones, sometimes I like something a little fancier. This salad is very good. The dressing, if you taste it before adding it to the green beans, may be a little much, but do not be alarmed. When paired with the salad, it's perfect. This recipe, which I got from my friend Kira and adapted, makes much more dressing than you will need. You can make less or, an option I like better, you can use it for other veggies the next day.
16 cloves garlic, with skins left on
2 1/2 tbsp. + 1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onions
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle 2 tbsp. oil over garlic and bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then squeeze garlic from skins. Process into a smooth paste with 1/2 tbsp. oil. Add vinegar and mix well. In large bowl, slowly add 1/4 c. oil, whisking as you go, until thick and smooth. Add basil, salt, & pepper. Cook beans until crisp-tender in boiling water, about 2 minutes. Drain and place in ice bath to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry. Toss with 1/2 tbsp. oil and season with salt & pepper. Preheat broiler (if preparing in summer, you can grill, instead). Broil beans until they're just starting to brown, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Place in large serving bowl. Add onions and tomatoes and toss with enough dressing to coat. Serves 4-6.