Everyday Food (July/August 2011)
This time of year can be heady business at the farmers market.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the piles of peaches, corn, tomatoes and melons that are spilling out of nearly every produce stand. We often emerge from the market dazed and confused, unsure of what all we just bought on our whirlwind spin through the stands.
But there's one vegetable -- from one particular stand -- that we almost never fail to buy: A paper bag full of Jade green beans from New Morning Farm.
We just love 'em, and we can't pass up the gorgeous green mountain of them that's prominently displayed in front of the New Morning tent every Sunday at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market.
And the beans are so terrific to have on hand all summer long. They're delicious in a sauté with corn and onions, or heated in a skillet in a little bacon grease, or even just steamed on their own with no extra adornment whatsoever.
Here's a salad from the latest Everyday Food that gives us yet another way to enjoy fresh green beans.
Anyway, such was the case with this Chopped Green Bean Salad. Flipping through the magazine, we caught sight of this recipe and dog-eared it as a great way to use some green beans. We grabbed some celery the next time we were at the grocery store, and we were good to go.
We love how fresh and crisp and refreshing this salad is. The dressing is light, mustardy and sweet, but it doesn't overpower the verdant, crunchy beans and celery. For the mustard, we chose to use a course grain Dijon. The taste is no different, but visually we liked how the grains of mustard looked in the finished salad. We're not sure we've ever had green beans and celery together before, but they're a very nice pair.
And here's something we didn't expect: This salad was good the first night we had it, but it was great the second night. We had plenty of leftovers after eating this on Monday, so we sealed it up and had it again on Tuesday. With 24 hours to marinate in the dressing, the flavors of the salad really came together nicely. And it was still plenty crispy and crunchy.
So if you're looking for a great new way to use some summer green beans, you've found it. And if you're looking for a lovely late-summer salad -- or a terrific no-cook side dish -- you've found that too. Win win!
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon honey. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Whisk in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, and 3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces; toss to combine. Season to taste with coarse salt and ground pepper. SERVES 4.