Every year at this time we seem to get overloaded with one vegetable after another from our garden. Presently, the zucchini, eggplants, and green beans are flourishing and I seem to be picking a basket full of fresh vegetables every day. Although I do love fresh picked tender green beans lightly blanched as a side vegetable for grilled or roasted meat and seafood, when you seem to be eating them every other day you do start to look for new ways to prepare them. The other morning I was in the kitchen cleaning yet another colander full of green beans when I decided to create this bean salad for lunch. I simply added some creamy Yukon Gold potatoes, ripe cherry tomatoes, homemade croutons, crisp diced pancetta, and slices of red onion. I topped the salad with a spicy dijon vinaigrette for the perfect finish. It was delicious, light, yet certainly filling, but you could also use it as a dinner entree by adding some canned tuna or salmon, boiled sliced eggs, or some anchovies. If adding the seafood, I’d leave out the diced pancetta.
Homemade Croutons: To make my croutons, I simply cut a few slices of stale country style bread into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes and mix it with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano. I then cook them over medium heat in a frying pan, tossing frequently to prevent burning until they are crispy and lightly browned.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Green Beans
- 2 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2 Small Red Onions, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
- 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced In Half
- 2 Cups Homemade Croutons (See Below)
- 1 1/2 Cup Diced Pancetta Browned Until Crispy
- 4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Trim the beans and cook in lightly salted boiling water until tender crisp, about 10 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans from the water and place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process and keep the beans bright green.
- Wash the potatoes, peel, and cut into pieces and cook in the same water used for the beans until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain and cool.
- Arrange the beans, potatoes, tomatoes, croutons, onions, and pancetta on four individual plates.
- Place the vinegar in a small measuring cup and add three times as much oil as vinegar.
- Add the mustard, lots of cracked black pepper and a little sea salt.
- Blend well, and then drizzle over the four salad plates, and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 647 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 517mg Carbohydrates: 66g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 14g Protein: 16g