Crisp-tender fresh green beans, sweet cherry tomatoes, spicy shallots and sharp blue cheese combine to make every mouthful of this salad an adventure!
Every spring I plant too many green beans. You may have read about my problems with them here when I posted my recipe for Sesame Ginger Green Beans. I usually use the excess from my garden by making these Quick Refrigerator Pickled Beans. This spring, I held back, planted fewer seeds, and now I’m kicking myself. Why? This Green Bean Blue Cheese Salad is one I could eat every day!
It’s crisp and crunchy, it’s full of sweet almost pickled shallots, and BLUE CHEESE! Tossed with a simple balsamic dressing, it has all the flavour of pickled beans, but in a salad that’s bursting with colour and flavour.
Start by picking out the freshest green beans you can lay your hands on. (They should snap when you break them in half. If they simply bend, leave them for someone else!) Trim the stem end. You can leave the tip on if you like. I do because I like the way it looks (and why throw it away?) but I know some people prefer to remove it.
Next, blanch the beans.
How to blanch beans for a salad
Put the trimmed beans in a pot of boiling water and cook just until they turn bright green and are crisp-tender, no more than 5 minutes. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let them chill, then drain and pat dry before combining them with the other salad ingredients.
I loved the marinated shallots in this Fennel-Celery Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese so I used them in this recipe too. They add a punch of flavour to this salad. Just before serving, toss the salad with a simple balsamic dressing. If you dress it too far in advance, you’ll lose that lovely bright green colour of the beans.
So when you find fresh green beans at your local market, pick up a hefty amount to make this Green Bean Blue Cheese Salad. Extras? Pickle them for snacks.
Crisp-tender green beans, cherry tomatoes, spicy shallots and blue cheese combine to make every mouthful of this Green Bean Blue Cheese Salad an adventure!
- 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small shallot thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbled
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Thinly slice shallot, place in a small bowl and add 2 tbsp red or white vinegar. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Blanch beans by adding them to a large pot of boiling water until bright green and crisp tender, no more than 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. When chilled, drain and pat dry.
Meanwhile, whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper together.
Assemble the chilled beans, cherry tomatoes, drained shallots and blue cheese crumbles on a serving platter or bowl. Drizzle or toss with the balsamic dressing and serve.