Roasted Green Bean Salad

French Green Bean Salad

When in doubt with how to proceed with any vegetable that needs to be used up I always err on the side of roasting. Almost any kind of vegetable (or fruit!) will taste delicious if given some time to mellow out in a hot oven, but there are times where you just feel like you need to do something different with said roasted vegetables. I often will roast extra of whatever I’m in the mood for so that I can add them to lunch salads for the week, or blitz together with some chicken stock and a squeeze of lemon for a quick yet full-bodied soup. Roasted green beans are sweet and nutty tasting, all they need is about 20 minutes in the oven with a light drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. I’ve used very thin French green beans in this instance, but regular more hardy green beans work just as well (adjust cooking times as needed.) The contrast of the blushing red tomatoes and the green of everything else is beautiful and very low effort although it looks as if it would warrant more time to assemble. I like this Roasted Green Bean Salad by itself or with some good salty feta sprinkled on top. It keeps well for 3 days or so in the fridge, making it a lovely addition to a packed lunch.

roasted green bean salad:

1 lb. or 450 g of green beans, tipped and tailed

1 Tbsp. olive oil (for roasting)

Kosher salt and black pepper, for seasoning

1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups of arugula

1 cup of chopped fresh herbs, I’ve used parsley, dill, cilantro, basil as a combination or alone with good results

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

! clove of garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup of olive oil

1. Arrange the green beans on a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil before seasoning with salt and pepper. Roast at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, stirring a few times throughout to ensure even roasting. Let them come to a warmish room temperature before making the salad.

2. Whisk together the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, mustard, and garlic before slowly adding the rest of the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.

3. Combine the green beans, arugula, tomatoes, herbs, and salad dressing in a large bowl checking for seasoning and adjusting the salt and pepper as needed. Serve this salad at room temperature and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I like Aimee Mann the same way I like Elliott Smith, that is, they’re both musicians that I abandon for long periods of time and then come back to, rediscovering all of their music all over again. There’s been a lot of Lost in Space this past week, the perfect soundtrack for tinkering around in the kitchen on a rainy afternoon.

Aimee Mann – Guys Like Me

Roasted Potato Salad with Green Beans and Bacon

Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad

This recipe began as an effort to use up roasted potatoes and green beans that I had served with a slow cooker pot roast the night before. It was inspired by a recipe for a French potato and green bean salad I remember making on repeat when I was in university, I’ve often though of it but until now have yet to recreate it. I added in the crispy bits of roasted bacon as an extra flourish, the salty bite of the pork combines with the acidic tang of the red wine vinegar with serendipitous results. When I make potato salads with an oil and vinegar based dressing I like to up the ratio of oil to vinegar so that they are 1:1, the starchiness of the potatoes seems to absorb some of the shock from what otherwise might be a too tart dressing. Other things I’ve added to this salad include romaine lettuce, capers, tinned Italian tuna in olive oil, chickpeas, and Adzuki beans. Although this should rest for a few minutes after it’s prepared, know that the texture of the potatoes begins to deteriorate fairly rapidly after the dressing is applied (although it just turns into a delicious albeit slightly softer leftover lunch.)

roasted potato salad with green beans and bacon:

1 lb. small red skinned potatoes

1 lb. green beans, lately I’ve been sing hericots verts because the little grocery store by my house has been selling them for a great price

3 slices of bacon, cut into a small dice

Grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup of flat leaf parsley, roughly torn

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with grapeseed or other neutral oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes before adding the green beans and bacon to the pan, stirring to coat with oil before roasting for another 20-25 minutes.

2. Transfer to a large bowl and let the potatoes, green beans, and bacon come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe or refrigerate for future use. Slice the roasted potatoes and green beans into smaller pieces before adding in the shallots and parsley.

3. Whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper before pouring the salad dressing over the potatoes and green beans and allow to sit for at 15 minutes before serving either cold or at room temperature.

In this particular instance, I served the salad with grilled cheese made from the leftover shredded pot roast and 3 year old Isle. aux Grues cheddar.

Grilled Cheese

I have found a new musical infatuation! Snowbird sounds like a slightly folksy and simultaneously shoegazey version of the Cocteau Twins with an English translation (as it should be, former member Simon Raymonde has a shining place in this band.) The whole record is lovely and ethereal and I genuinely found it difficult to choose a favourite song for this entry, I think at the moment this would be the most listened to song on the album (although this is actually part of an included remix album of Moon.)

Snowbird – Porcelain (RxGibbs remix)

 

 

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

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.