Monday, July 27, 2009

Green Bean and Radish Salad

The best way to cook is to start with the ingredients. This may sound like an obvious statement, but many of us (myself included) have a tendency to pick a recipe, and then go out to buy all the ingredients that are not already in our pantry. This has to stop! A big part of why I joined a CSA program was to force myself to work the opposite way - start with fantastic fresh ingredients, and figure out what to make with them.

My sister gave me some beautiful green beans and radishes from the CSA that she recently joined, and I decided to turn them into a simple and delicious salad. I'm planning to make pasta for dinner tonight (recipe to be posted later this week) and thought we'd need something refreshing and crisp to go alongside it. The beans and radishes called my name.

This salad is ridiculously easy; it really doesn't even need a recipe. It's more a jumping off point - use whatever vinegar, nuts, or other flavorings you like. But the idea is that when you have fantastic fresh veggies, the best thing to do is eat them raw or just blanched, with just enough seasoning to keep things interesting. It's minimal effort cooking, folks.

Green Bean and Radish Salad
serves 2


1 lb. slender green beans, trimmed and cut to 2" lengths
handful fresh radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


1. Fill a high-sided skillet about 2 inches with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, and add the green beans. While they cook, prepare a large bowl of iced water and keep it nearby. Cook green beans for no more than 2 minutes, just enough to get them to crisp-tender. Scoop the beans out and immediately plunge them in the ice water. Let sit a few minutes, then drain them.

2. Dry off the beans slightly with a towel and toss with radish slices, almonds, vinegar, oil, and a pinch of salt to taste.


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