Friday, August 7, 2009

Two French Green Bean Salads



This post has been delayed for almost two months now. It's either my attention is directed to something else or someone borrowed the camera every time I'm ready to do the green beans. So, I buy and eat French green beans every week. I really like them right now. At least they are now grown in Davao. Davao is way down south but at least it's within the country.



Green beans are one of the easiest vegetables to prepare. All you have to do is to cut the ends and leave the pointy tip. But watch this video for more tips on how to prepare French green beans.

You can definitely prepare them in advance. But I use them within the day, maximum of two days as they do change their color from bright green to dull green. Here's a video on how to blanch green beans.



These two green beans salads (supposed to be four) are served with a lemon-shallot vinaigrette. My brother hates vinegar so I always make this dressing which is simple, healthy and vibrant. If you want to start eating healthier, then making your own dressing is one of those changes you can make. I know those pretty labels on bottled dressings sold at the grocery store look so adorable, but making your own is still the best option. Is there any excuse of not making your own?

A dressing or vinaigrette is usually 3 parts oil to 1 part acid but I always add only half of the oil first. Since these lemons probably came from the US, they lose their flavor overtime. I think I should start using our local dayap. So, I taste them first before adding more oil. I just love lemon because it enlivens almost every dish. Both lemon and olive oil is good for the liver and the gallbladder and so much more.



Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 shallot
  • 2 lemons
  • unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
To start the dressing, peel and mince the shallots and place in a jar. Juice the lemon and season with salt. Then add the olive oil. Cover and set aside until ready to use.



French Green Bean, Roasted Red Onion and Fresh Cheese Salad

Serves 4-6

  • 4 red onions
  • 1/2 lb French green beans
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry
  • 4 oz feta or goat cheese or kesong puti
  • unrefined sea salt
  • lemon-shallot vinaigrette
To roast the red onions, preheat the oven to 190° Celsius (375° Fahrenheit). Peel the onions and cut into 6 wedges leaving a little bit of the root end. Toss with a little bit of oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven, turning onions halfway for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.



To prepare the green beans
, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Prepare the beans by cutting off the stem leaving the pointy tip. Once the water is boiling add the beans and cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until tender (not crunchy yet not overcook). Transfer beans onto an ice bath. Allow to cool and then strain well.

To prepare the rest of the mise en place, tear the romaine lettuce into smaller pieces, remove the pit from the olives and roughly chop, and gather the cheese and the vinaigrette.

To assemble the salad, divide the green beans, romaine lettuce, roasted red onion, and olives into individual plates. Crumble the cheese over the salad. Season with unrefined sea salt and serve with the lemon-shallot vinaigrette.




French Green Bean
, Avocado and Mandarin Orange

Serves 4-6

  • 1/2 lb French green beans
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry
  • 2 mandarin oranges
  • 2 avocados
  • unrefined sea salt
  • lemon-shallot vinaigrette
To prepare the green beans, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Prepare the beans by cutting off the stem leaving the pointy tip. Once the water is boiling add the beans and cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until tender (not crunchy yet not overcook). Transfer beans onto an ice bath. Allow to cool and then strain well.

To prepare your other mise en place, tear the romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces, then peel and separate the segments of the mandarin orange.

To assemble the salad, divide the green beans into individual bowls, followed by a layer of torn romaine lettuce and orange segments. Next cut avocado in half and score the insides with a knife then scoop it out onto the salad. Season the salad with unrefined sea salt and serve with the lemon-shallot vinaigrette.

Notes:
I use the inner core of the romaine lettuce and saved the outer leaves for another use. You can use raw onions as well. I roasted them because I don't like the raw red onions here. We do have smaller onions too.

You might noticed on the photo that I peeled the mandarin oranges but it's not necessary.

I hope you enjoy these salads.

7 comments:

  1. WOW look at all this beautiful work! The salads and dressings are simple, creative, and look just delicious. Thanks so much

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  2. I would love to try the lemon-shallot vinaigrette cos I love lemon. All the salad look so colourful and appetising. Thanks for the recipe.

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  3. Stumbled upon your blog. Love it! This salad is beautiful!

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  4. @ Mary, I love lemon too.

    @ Maria, thanks for dropping by. You have a wonderful blog as well.

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  5. Those salads are bursting with color, they look delicious!

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  6. I love simple dishes like this one.

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  7. What a glorious sharing of images, recipe and thoughts. Wonderful. Thank you. Now I know how to make those yummy green beans sexier!

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Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.