Green bean salads are perfect make-ahead side dishes for picnics, buffets or family dinners. The salads can be composed ahead of time and remain crisp and fresh-tasting even after being dressed.
This one is a unique combination of flavors, with colorful ingredients: sweet oranges, savory shallots, rich herbs and briny olives.
Make Ahead: The salad can be assembled and refrigerated a day in advance. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- 1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 15 ounces canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Freshly grated zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
- Flesh of 1 orange (pith removed), cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives, cut in half lengthwise
- Leaves from 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 3 large shallots, minced (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the green beans in a large saucepan and cover with cool water; place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain, rinse and pat dry, then transfer to a large salad bowl.
Add the cannellini beans, orange pieces, grated orange zest, parsley and olives; mix well.
Combine the oil and shallots in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Whisk in the oregano, mustard and honey; once they are well incorporated, whisk in the vinegar to form a warm salad dressing. Immediately remove from the heat.
Drizzle the warm dressing over the green bean mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then toss the salad to coat evenly.
Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from a recipe in the May 2007 issue of Bon Appétit magazine.
Tested by Cynthia A. Brown.
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