Saturday, January 04, 2014

Warm Green Bean Salad

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.

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