Right now my garden is awash in beans of every description from string to snap to yellow flat and fava beans. From the trellis to the bush varieties, I harvest away while I conjure up what I will do with them. Freeze them? Never! They will taste like mush. Can them? I am lukewarm about that too. Pickle them into a still life in a jar. Ok. Garden beans meant to be eaten fresh and so we will indulge in many a bean dish from minted bean salads to beans almondine to stir fry with beans. Chances are your exposure to three bean salad has been of the canned variety and that is ok but there is a better bean salad out there and here is how to make it.
Minty Bean Salad
1 pound fresh beans (I like to mix up varieties), stemmed
1 small bunch mint leaves, minced
1 garlic clove minced
1 shallot minced
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
salt and pepper to taste
toasted almonds for garnish
Steam the beans until fork tender; drain and transfer to a salad bowl.
In a bowl whisk together all the remaining ingredients except the almonds.
Pour the dressing over the beans and toss well. Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving. When ready to serve, toss again and sprinkle the almonds over the top.
More great salad ideas at www.ciaoitalia.com