I bought the green beans for this salad earlier today and I have been extremely tempted all day to make this salad and eat the entire bowl by myself. I think that I probably could because I have a particular affinity for any food item that is pickled, in fact my absolute favourite thing to do is read a John Bellairs book in bed while eating a bowl of pickled pepperoncini peppers. I believe that this is one of the most visually attractive salads you can make; the green and red reminds me of poppies and peonies. By soaking the shallots in red wine vinegar for a few hours prior to assembly you are allowing them to pickle, the longer they are able to sit in the vinegar the pinker the will become . Tonight I made this salad alongside baked trout for myself while Ian paired it with leftover pizza; this recipe’s versatility knows no bounds (I can almost guarantee you I’ll be eating this for breakfast tomorrow morning.) If you can think of other complimentary fresh herbs to add in feel to experiment; basil and mint are my recommendations. You can cook the green beans ahead of time as long as you have a big bowl of ice water to shock them with as soon as they’re out of the pot, this will help them from cooking further and will slow down the inevitable dulling of green.
red and green salad:
1 lb. of green beans
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
4 shallots, thinly sliced into half moons
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of flatleaf parsley
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup of light olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the shallots, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least one hour.
2. Top and tail the green beans and then snip in half with scissors, I find that scissors make a somewhat tedious task pass much faster but then I’ve never claimed to have good knife skills. Fill a large bowl with as much ice as you have and compensate for the rest with water. Steam the beans in a steamer or a regular pot for about 3-4 minutes, you don’t want them to be fully cooked. As soon as they are ready drain them and then immerse completely in the ice bath. They can stay in this water while you get the rest of the ingredients together.
3. Put the cherry tomato halves in a large salad bowl. Once again with the scissors, snip the dill and parsley in with the tomatoes and add the green beans. Combine the vinegar and shallots with the olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper; apply generously to the vegetables. This salad tastes best when it’s been allowed to marinate for at least half an hour and it’s amazing either cold or at room temperature.
Trembling Blue Stars – This Once was an Island
Melancholy pop is one of my favourite types of music so as a huge fan of The Field Mice I see Trembling Blue Stars as an even boppier extension of Robert Wratten’s songwriting abilities. I think that this band has had a huge influence on bands like The Postal Service and Au Revoir Simone but I much prefer the intricacy of these lyrics to anything derivative I’ve heard so far. I listen to Trembling Blue Stars when I’m walking a lot, sometimes certain music can make absorption of new surroundings intuitive and effortless, I feel this effect immediately when I hear this song.