Over the past few weeks, warmish temperatures and a steady dose of rain have helped our beans — bush beans, pole beans, and string beans — proliferate like mad! The beans have been growing far faster than we could ever eat them, and this past weekend, we found ourselves with a definite surplus.
We also made our first harvest of shelling beans!
These turned out to be Tiger Eye beans (a bush variety) and Fort Portal Jade (a pole variety).
While there are more Fort Portal beans to come, it looks like the Tiger Eye plants have had their say. As with beans, they might be done, or they might re-blossom later in the summer.
But, back to the busload of string beans. A much as we’ve been enjoying them simply steamed with dinner, we decided to do something a little different this past weekend, and make them into a light and delicious salad. We regularly make a Three-Bean Salad, but we wanted something a little different, so we turned to our trust Betty Crocker recipe book and found a little inspiration in the form of a “Tangy Vegetable Salad.” But we didn’t have everything on hand for that particular recipe, so we improvised. Here’s our version, which we’ll call “Simple Vegetable Salad (That’s Mostly String Beans).”
Simple Vegetable Salad (That’s Mostly String Beans)
- 2-3 cups of coarsely chopped fresh string beans
- approximately 1/2 cup (or so) each of chopped onion, carrots, peppers, and squash (we used a red pepper and summer squash, but any varieties could work)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Gather all vegetables together; gather together ingredients for dressing.
2. Boil a little water (about 1/2 cup or so) in a large saucepan, and dump in the vegetables. Cook in boiling water for five minutes.
3. After five minutes, drain the vegetable and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
4. Place dressing ingredients into a small screw-top jar and shake vigorously to combine.
5. Place drained vegetables in a large bowl and pour over dressing. Stir gently, cover bowl, then place bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
5. While salad is chilling, stir occasionally until ready to serve. When serving, use a slotted spoon.
This is an excellent summer salad – light, filling, and refreshing. And it’s super quick to make! (Who wants to turn on the oven in 100 degree heat, anyway?!) One thing to note is that you could also used white wine or red wine vinegar for the dressing. And really, you could use just about any combination of vegetables. The original recipe called for cauliflower and the addition of sliced olives at the end. But our results turned out to be simply delicious. And that’s what’s important. 🙂