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Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic & Parmesan

Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic & Parmesan

green beans

Food often evokes fond memories. Green beans remind me of when I was a kid sitting outside in summer snapping the ends off of fresh beans for dinner at my friend, Lisa's house. There's really nothing special about trimming beans, but for me, it's a really fond memory. There's something about working with food in its "as close to the earth" form that resonates with me. Every time I shuck corn, memories of doing this as a kid fill my mind. I loved shucking corn as a kid so much that I even (unsuccessfully) tried back then to make corn husk dolls from the remnants I'd just ripped from the cob. Although growing food can be a lot of work, it makes me feel connected to nature and food in its freshest form. It doesn't mean I won't tap into a pint of Ben & Jerry's from time to time, but there's just something special about preparing food that you've grown or was recently picked from someone's farm. 

Today, as I waited for my train home from work, I thought about the green beans I picked almost a week ago from the garden and knew I had to use them tonight. They don't last forever. After a long day, I'll admit, I just wanted to go home and slap together a tuna sandwich, but instead, I looked up ideas for using my green beans in a quick and easy way. Thanks to Elise at Simply Recipes for giving me the inspiration for this dish. I made only about 1/3 of the full quantity because it's what I had to pick from my small garden, but it was really tasty and fresh. 

green-bean-salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 lbs trimmed green beans, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
4 TBSP olive oil
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the green beans In a large pot of salted boiling water for about 2 minutes to blanch them.
  2. With a slotted spoon, remove the beans and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Chop the basil leaves.
  4. Remove the beans from the water with a slotted spoon after a few minutes and place them in a bowl. Add the chopped basil.
  5. Add the olive oil and toss to coat.
  6. Sprinkle in the balsamic vinegar and Parmesan and toss to combine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Chill or serve at room temperature.
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