I’ve never really been creative with string beans. There’s something about them that has never inspired me to reach out of my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I really like them, but they’re not one of those vegetables — like mushrooms and tomatoes — that have a zillion ways to be cooked. Every time I cook them, I boil them and serve them warm as a side dish. The ounce of creativity that I bring to the dish depends on the spices I use and the sauce in which I boil the string beans, which almost always tends to be made with tomatoes. Until recently, I had never tried making a string bean salad despite the numerous times I’ve thought about it. But when I finally got to it, it opened a whole new world of string bean inspiration.
When I have a vegetable hanging around in my fridge that I’m not inspired by, I head over to Food Network and look up all recipes that are made with that vegetable. Two weekends ago I had string beans still nicely packed in their bag in the fridge, and with no inspiration whatsoever, went on Food Network to see what I could do with them to prepare a light Saturday lunch. That’s when I fell upon Ina Garten‘s French String Bean Salad, served with a tangy mustard vinaigrette.
Instead of boiling your string beans for 10 to 15 minutes, Ina recommends boiling them only for a minute so that they are “crispy-tender”. I found that I needed to boil them a bit longer (3 to 5 minutes) for them to be slightly tender yet crunchy. I also wanted to bring a bit more flavor by adding diced red onion and a bit of fresh lemon juice to the vinaigrette. At the end of the day, I pretty much played around with all ingredients of the recipe to come up with my own variation. Topped with fresh dill, this string bean salad is ridiculously easy to make and is definitely a winner for the days you’re just too lazy to cook up a storm.
one month ago on savormania: creamy cauliflower soup
- 1 pound (500g) string beans, both ends trimmed
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 ½ tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside.
- Bring salted water to boil in a saucepan. When bubbling, throw in your string beans and simmer the vegetables covered for 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly tender but still crispy. Timing precision is key here -- don't over boil them or they'll be soggy.
- Drain your string beans in a colander and immediately place them in the bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain your string beans again in the colander and place them in a bowl with the red onion. If you're not using your string beans right away, place them in the fridge.
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the string beans when ready to serve. Mix well to combine.
TIP: Don't let the string beans sit in the dressing before serving them or the lemon will discolor the vegetables.
How did your string bean salad with mustard vinaigrette come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania