Do you have green beans pouring out of your garden like we do? You need to try to make this fresh green bean salad to use up those beans! I have 3 boys with 3 completely different palates and all 3 of them love this green bean salad! It's a miracle! I've been trying to get them to eat green beans in all sorts of forms for years and usually I only get 1 who likes them. This salad made the whole family happy! The happy gardener who grows these green beans for us, my husband, is also pleased I used the garden green beans well.
Do I need to use fresh green beans?
Yes. I do not recommend frozen or canned green beans for this salad. Frozen green beans will make this salad too watery and canned green beans will not have that crunch and color you can have using fresh green beans. Try to pick your green beans when they're young and tender. The longer you let them stay on the vines the tougher and thicker they get.
What type of green beans can I use?
All green beans are slightly different and the outcome will be slightly different using this recipe. The beans I use in this recipe are "Tendergreen" and "Kentucky Wonder." Those just happen to be the ones my husband is growing in our garden. You can absolutely use store bought fresh green beans, they'll work great as well! I just don't recommend using frozen or canned.
Do I need to use garden fresh cherry tomatoes?
No, you do not. You can use store bought cherry tomatoes, but if you happen to have enough of your own garden tomatoes for this salad, the fresher, the better! Nothing beats home grown tomatoes anyway, so if you want the best outcome, use yours! I think smaller cherry variety as nicer for this salad. Grape tomatoes are a little too large and overwhelming for such a salad.
Best way to Serve Green Bean Salad
This salad is best served cold. It's a great, refreshing salad alternative if you're tired of the same green salads. It is meant to be served cold, so I can not guarantee your enjoyment if you serve it warm. It's a great side for fish or seafood dishes, or even a healthier side dish to accompany a BBQ entrée.
How do I make the salad?
This green bean salad is made by 1st blanching the green beans for a couple minutes. After blanching the beans, you marinate them in a dressing for at least a couple hours to achieve ultimate enjoyment when it hits those dinner plates. It's a great salad to make on a weekend when you have a little prep time late weekend morning or early afternoon. Just marinate the beans at least 2 hours and then you're ready to enjoy the salad come dinner time. Wash, trim and halve your green beans, chop some red onion, make the dressing and then marinate them in the dressing. Once the marinating is complete add your tomatoes with a little shredded cheese and enjoy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Possible Additions for this salad:
Bacon- Because, why not?
Garden Fresh Bell Peppers- If you've got it, it'll just add a little extra sweet, crunchy element to your salad. Slice it thin and add it to your marinade.
Hard Cheese Alternatives- Asiago or Non-Dairy Alternative
Soft Cheeses- Feta or Blue Cheese. Any of these would be delicious variations.
Toasted Nuts- toasted almond slivers or chopped walnuts would be great as well. My kids aren't fans of nuts, so I keep them out of most salads I'm trying to get them to eat. Sigh...Some day maybe.
Hard Boiled Eggs- Chopped
- Fresh Green Beans- From your garden or store bought. Tender and young ones best, not too tough and thick.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Onions-I like to slice them pretty thin with my favorite mandoline, almost paper thin.
- Olive Oil
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Pressed Garlic
- Dijon Mustard
- Spices: Salt, Pepper & a little sugar
- Parmesan Cheese