Here’s a recommendation if you’re a green bean lover – Calima beans from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds are the best, most productive beans we’ve ever grown. They’re a French filet type, best picked when very slim, though still tasty if allowed to get almost pencil thick. At an average length of 7-8 inches it doesn’t take many to make a meal. They’re planted fairly thickly in a row about 30 feet long. Granted we’ve had more than average rainfall in the last six weeks, but we’ve picked them four times, twice in the last five days, and there are still lots of baby beans and blossoms. Most are going into quart jars bound for the pressure canner. So far there are 26 jars on the shelf and there were enough extra for this salad, a bag full for my daughter who planted them for me, and a few dinners of Green Beans and Quinoa.
This can be made with canned beans but tastes best with tender fresh beans, steamed lightly. I always follow recipes exactly the first time making one, but subsequent tries often find me making quite a few changes. You can make some substitutions to suit your own preferences. Instead of Italian dressing try another flavor or replace it with a standard olive oil/vinegar dressing. Add a few cherry tomatoes or a little feta cheese. Use lemon juice instead of lime and maybe some lemon-infused olive oil. Try basil or tarragon and parsley instead of cilantro and dill. I use roasted garlic, blended to a paste with a little olive oil, because it doesn’t upset my stomach and gives everything a mellow garlic flavor. The taste will be sharper if you use fresh garlic.
– Joan, 24 August 2018
Green Bean Salad
- 1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 small sweet onion, sliced thinly or 1/3 cup fresh chives, finely cut
- 1/2 cup pickled peppers, chopped
- 1 small fresh jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, or 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil*
- 1-2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste*
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing or use 6 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or other flavored vinegar*
Cut the beans into 1-2″ lengths. Steam them about 5 minutes, drain and immerse in ice water to cool. Drain when completely cooled. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Slice the onion, chop the pickled peppers and fresh herbs, seed and slice the jalapeño. Put everything except the beans into a large bowl, add garlic, olive oil*, lime juice*, and Italian dressing*. Stir to blend, then stir in the beans. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Serve cold.
*Note – If you decide to use olive oil and vinegar instead of Italian dressing (or other bottled dressing), don’t use the tablespoon of olive oil and teaspoon or two of lime juice. Use just the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.