Shopping for summer produce in the middle of August is, quite simply, a pleasure. Especially if you can buy it fresh from the orchard or farm. And especially if you’ve managed to grow a rather impressive crop of tiny multi-hued tomatoes and twee little chilli peppers that curl up as they dry out, like pairs of cheery red elf shoes. Combining the best and the brightest of the season, this easy green bean salad recipe falls firmly into the less-is-more camp. You’ll find that it really doesn’t need much in terms of embellishments and a dressing. Pan-seared green beans are served at room temperature alongside raw slices of tomato and a crumbly, salty feta. Add a minced clove of garlic and a final squeeze of lemon and there you have it: Summer on a plate (in under 20 minutes).
Tips for making Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Feta
- If you’re using out-of-season tomatoes (you know, the kind lacking in character) feel free to drizzle them with olive oil and slow roast in a low oven until they’re sweet and jammy.
- Crumbly, salty feta works best in a green bean salad, its briny intensity will complement the grassy flavour of the green beans.
- Eating a plant-based diet? Feel free to skip the cheese. Out of feta? Generous shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Piave Vecchio, Pecorino Romano, Ricotta Salata or crumbled Cotija will all work well in this recipe.
- Use a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet to cook the green beans; in this case, you want a really hot cooking surface to give the green beans a good sear.
- Add the garlic after you remove the green beans from the heat. The salad will still have a strong garlicky kick without the risk of burnt garlic flavour.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the green beans while the pan is still hot. The lemon juice will sizzle and instantly adhere to the green beans, forming a concentrated, tangy dressing.
- This salad is best served a few hours after it’s been prepared. Have some leftovers? Try adding them to a quiche or frittata.
Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Feta
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Large cast iron or stainless steel skillet
- Kitchen tongs
- Serving platter
- 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1.5 lbs. fresh green beans washed, tipped, and tailed
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 cup crumbled salty feta
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Heat the grapeseed oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet unil very hot (about medium-high heat).
- Add the green beans and saute until lightly blackened in parts, tossing frequently with the kitchen tongs.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the minced garlic. Pour over the lemon juice.
- Transfer the green beans to a shallow serving platter. Toss with the kosher salt and black pepper.
- Finish the salad by loosely mixing the green beans with the tomato slices and crumbled feta.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
More Music With Dinner recipes featuring green beans:
- Roasted Green Beans and Broccolini On a Bed of Ricotta
- Green Bean Salad with Arugula
- Roasted Potato Salad with Green Beans and Bacon
Music with dinner…
Sometimes music finds you. It is perfectly compatible with your mood, offering a sort of sad, hollowed catharsis when these actions come across as performative (at least, from your own perspective). Which is why I’ve found myself listening to John Adam’s minimalist and controversial opera The Death of Klinghoffer over and over and over again. More people should listen to opera when they’re depressed (more people should listen to opera when they’re happy, too). “Harmonium: Negative Love” is from the chorus section of this opera and I’ve listened to it at least 30 times this past week. It’s easy to get lost in, to fall into, and to find stark beauty despite the opera’s subject matter.
John Adams – Harmonium: Negative Love (from: The Death of Klinghoffer)