Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic & Parmesan
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 6
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
- Place the green beans In a large pot of salted boiling water for about 2 minutes to blanch them.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the beans and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Chop the basil leaves.
- Remove the beans from the water with a slotted spoon after a few minutes and place them in a bowl. Add the chopped basil.
- Add the olive oil and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle in the balsamic vinegar and Parmesan and toss to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Chill or serve at room temperature.