Fresh & Colorful Green Bean Salad

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Green beans are sweet and crisp, fresh from the garden this time of year. Steamed, raw, or partially cooked and added to a salad, as in this recipe, they are delightful and abundant at farmers’ markets as well. Purple cabbage, feta cheese, and walnuts add color, texture, and contrast, making the taste and presentation of this dish interesting and unique.

My mother told me that if you massage cabbage with your hands just until it begins to wilt it will taste much better. I am often tempted to skip that step of preparing fresh cabbage because it’s a bit messy and takes extra time. But I am more satisfied with the taste when I do.  Kale is a member of the cabbage family and tastes much better as well when massaged.

This is one of my favorite recipes – even in winter when fresh green beans are available. It was inspired by one I found in the book in RAISING THE SALAD BAR, by Catherine Walthers (Lake Isle Press, NY, 2007).

Salad:

1 lb fresh green beans

Green Bean Salad with purple cabbage, feta cheese, and walnuts

Fresh & Colorful Green Bean Salad

1 cup shredded or chopped purple cabbage

½ cup toasted walnuts

1/3 cup of crumbled Feta cheese (Blue cheese works well with this recipe too)

 

Steam the green beans about 5 minutes until tender but still crisp. Drain and run under cold water. Pat them dry – I pour them onto a clean terry dish towel to dry, thus saving half a roll of paper towels – and put them in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Slice and shred or chop enough red cabbage to make about a cup. Place in a bowl and massage with your hands for a about a minute until the cabbage just begins to look a bit wilted as this helps to take away any bitterness and improves the taste. Add to the green beans and mix.

Roast walnuts (whole or chopped) in the oven at 300° F for about 10 minutes or until slightly   browned or stir constantly for a few minutes in a dry fry pan over medium high heat.

Dressing:

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/8 cup of olive oil

Garlic powder to taste

Salt & pepper

 

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic powder, add to the green bean mixture, and stir. Chill for an hour or until ready to serve. It can be refrigerated overnight. Add Walnuts and cheese and transfer into a serving bowl.

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