Recipe for Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ♥

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing
Today's vegetable recipe: A re-invention of that old picnic favorite, the green bean salad. Here, start with fresh green beans, toss them in an Asian-inspired dressing, then top with soy-glazed nuts. Vegan. Delicious!

On Saturday, my street had its first neighborhood potluck in 16 years. On a decidedly steamy and buggy Missouri afternoon, we gathered in a back yard to meet newcomers and greet long-timers. Many thanks to Ed, Molly and Ellen for making it happen!

(All very neighborly, Alanna, but for the rest of us, what about the food?) Right. The food!

My contribution was a green bean salad made from fresh green beans, a great 'whole vegetable' contrast to bowls of creamy coleslaw and potato salad. My neighbors' unsolicited comments demonstrate how distinct the individual flavors remain, even as they meld together for something quite unusual: "We loooove cilantro" and "I taste sesame oil" & "Oh the garlic!" and "Those nuts are delicious".

All by themselves, the nuts are delicious, first toasted, then glazed in soy sauce -- easy nibblers, for sure.

FRESH GREEN BEAN SALAD with ASIAN DRESSING

Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Serves 8

BEANS
4 quarts water
2 tablespoons table salt
2 pounds fresh beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-size lengths

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (In the World's Best Green Casserole, I learned the importance of cooking beans in a lot of water with a lot of salt. The proportion is 1lb beans:2qts water:1 tablespoon table salt. It makes a world of difference.) Add the prepped beans, let return to a boil, cover and cook for about 5 minutes til mostly cooked but still bright green.While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain beans through a colander then immerse into the ice water (this is the 'shock' process to halt further cooking) until cool. Drain well. (I let these drain for a couple of hours. If you're in a rush, drain on double layers of paper towels. The beans should be moist but completely dry on the outside.)

SOY-GLAZED ALMONDS
1/2 cup almonds (I used chopped almonds, the inspiring recipe suggested whole almonds which I think would be quite good if done whole, then chopped)
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

In a small skillet, toast the almonds on MEDIUM heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, til the almonds are beginning to turn lightly brown. Increase the heat to MEDIUM HIGH and add the soy sauce. It will boil up and the liquid will quickly evaporate, glazing the almonds with color and flavor. Stir for about a minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

ASIAN DRESSING
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (this I think would be perfect, the inspiring recipe called for 1 tablespoon peanut oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from a jar unless you insist otherwise ...)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (also from a jar, I love this stuff!)
Sugar to taste (start with a teaspoon)

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.

TOPPINGS
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions (I used chopped radishes)
Soy-glazed almonds

ASSEMBLY
Add the beans to the dressing and stir well to coat. (If making ahead of time, stop here and refrigerate. Stir occasionally.) Arrange on a low-rimmed platter. Just before serving, top with cilantro, green onion and almonds.


KITCHEN NOTES
Next time, I would serve the beans from a platter so the nuts and cilantro could be more spread out and scooped into each spoonful. I might also add a touch of sugar to the dressing.
NUTRITION NOTES I used the full measure of oil specified by the inspiring recipe since it was two tablespoons for two pounds of beans and my 'standard' fat:vegetable proportion on A Veggie Venture. But next time, for flavor, I will use a teaspoon, omit the rest of the oil - I think it will be fine, maybe better even, since the sharpness of the vinegar, garlic and ginger can hold their own against the flavor and texture of fresh beans.
SALAD EXTRAVAGANZA This salad recipe is my contribution to the Salad Extravaganza happening this month at La Mia Cucina and Sass & Veracity. It promises to be a great collection of perfect summer salads!

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6 comments:

Wish I'd had thsi idea before yesterday's Father's Day picnic, way different than the typical canned green bean salad.

I've got a family event coming this August- I'll be taking this. But first I'll make it just for the 2 of us, because I don't think I'll be happy until I try those almonds with the beans and dressing. YUM!

Thank you so much for the submission, Alanna - it's perfect. =)

xoxo

Sounds like a great neighborhood party! I love green beans with garlic -- I'd probably skip the cilantro, but definitely would include the nuts. Thanks for the recipe.

Green bean salad is perfect summer!! This is surely a keeper! Looks and sounds lovely.

Wow, this looks fab! Another great use for all those heaps of summer green beans.

Monday 5:58pm "I am so taken with this salad.. and truthfully, I'm not a big bean eater (I want that to change though) but the flavors you've combined here are just too good to not try - which I will, soon."

Wednesday 6:40am "Holy cow, I'm on my way out the door for work, but I just had to drop you a quick line -
I made the green beans last night - WE LOVED THEM! Ohhh and the nuts? My husband said he refuses to eat nuts if they aren't soy glazed from here on out. hahaha! We loved the dressing, everything about it.. Thank you so much for passing along that recipe - you've given me a healthy dish that I'll be preparing for years to come!!"

Thursday 5:37am "... this green bean dish you've given me is tooooooo fantastic. Both of us, last night, were whining about how there were no more green beans! lol"

Thursday 12:48pm and then this

[note, excerpts of e-mails from Lis to Alanna]

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna