Thursday, August 25, 2011

Green Beans, Feta Cheese, Onions and Roasted Red Pepper with Herb Vinaigrette

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables.  We eat them all year round, but this summer I'm especially in love with green beans because I've grown my own in my garden.  One of the ways to really highlight beautiful, tender green beans is to serve them as a cold side dish, blanched and tossed with a tasty vinaigrette.

I wanted to make a colorful, bold flavored dish and this one fits the bill.  The garlic, oregano and basil in the dressing are enhanced by the red onion and roasted red pepper.  The feta adds a salty creaminess that goes nicely with the crunch of the crisp, green beans.

This is a quick, easy to assemble side dish.  You'll want to make it early in the day, or a day before you serve it to give the flavors time to develop.

Green Bean Salad Ingredients
Green Beans with Feta, Onions and Roasted Red Pepper
Serves 4
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 red onion, slices very thinly
  • 1/4 of a roasted red pepper, cut into thin 1" strips
  • 1 1/2 ounces feta cheese cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons Herb Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Herb Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a jar with a lid.  Shake vigourously to combine.  Store in your refrigerator.  Remove from the refrigerator to warm for 10-15 minutes before using.

Wash and prepare your green beans by trimming just the stem end of each bean.

Trim the Stem End of the Beans

Fill a large pot with water  and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt.  Add the beans all at once.  Once the water returns to a boil, cook the beans for three minutes. 

Blanch the Beans

Meanwhile prepare an ice bath for the beans.  After the three minutes, remove the beans from the boiling water and place them directly into the ice bath.   Once they are cold, strain them and set them aside.

Blanching and Shocking Preserves the Color

Slice the onion and red pepper.  Cut the feta cheese into cubes.  Combine the green beans, Feta cheese, onion and red pepper in a bowl.  Pour two tablespoons of the herb vinaigrette over the mixture.  Toss lightly to combine.  Cover and refrigerate.  Toss again before serving.

Toss the Ingredients with the Herb Vinaigrette
These beans can either be served as a stand alone salad or as a side dish.  You can get the printable green beans with feta, onion, roasted red pepper and herb vinaigrette recipe by clicking the link.


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