Green Beans and Shelling Beans with Cherry Tomatoes
Source: Annie Somerville, Executive Chef, Greens Restaurant (Summer 2007).
This peak of summer salad is all about fresh beans, with sweet cherry tomatoes to brighten the colors and flavors. We feature young shelling beans – available at farmers’ markets throughout the summer months – as the star ingredient here, cooked until completely tender and dressed warm, so they soak up the sharp Champagne Vinaigrette. Their creamy texture contrasts beautifully with the crunchy green beans and juicy bites of cherry tomato. You can use different varieties of beans here; just be sure to cook them separately, as the cooking time will vary with their size.
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
½ tablespoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt Pinch of pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ pound shelling beans: cranberry, cannellini, or flageolet. Pods removed, about ¾ cup beans
½ pound fresh summer beans: yellow wax or blue lake green beans and (green or yellow) Romano beans, stem ends trimmed and cut in half on the diagonal
½ cup Sweet 100 or Sungold cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
Salt and pepper
For the vinaigrette
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil until emulsified. Set aside.
For the beans
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in the shelling beans. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook until completely tender, about 15 minutes. Taste the beans to be sure they’re ready to be drained. Drain and toss in a large bowl with half of the prepared champagne vinaigrette and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
- Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil and salt lightly. Cook the fresh summer beans separately, allowing 2 to 3 minutes for green beans, 4 to 6 minutes for yellow wax, and 6 to 8 minutes for large Romano beans. Scoop them from the water with a strainer; rinse under cold water and drain. Toss the fresh beans into the shelling beans along with the remaining vinaigrette and the herbs. Just before serving, add the tomatoes and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if needed.
Tip: If shelling beans aren’t available, just make the salad without them and increase the cherry tomatoes to a full cup.