Category Archives: green beans

Green Bean, Basil and Radish Salad

Why has everything gone wacko? Who knows? All I know is that after a couple of weeks of vacation followed by a baking spree that left the people around me rolling their eyes in disbelief and a weekend of wedding festivities topped off by eating a piece of red velvet wedding cake, I had a hankering for my old friends, healthy vegetables. I was so into my piece of wedding cake and I kept looking at my husband’s slice, then I started eying a tray of wedding cake slices on plates that was left on a table next to me and I seriously started thinking, how tacky is that to nab another slice of wedding cake, I mean how often do you even see red velvet cake and it was so good! Plus I did dance quite a bit and must have burned a few calories, yeah right. Anyway, I was left with that sensation of desire for more red velvet cake that I usually satisfy by making the darn thing and eating it! Only this time I’m really feeling the effects of all my indulgences in my enlarging waistline which I couldn’t believe the skirt I just bought 6 weeks ago was tight, yuck! So, it’s back to my good buddies in the vegetable section of my local market. I’m really lucky that I love vegetables because many people don’t like them, my friend Margaret who was told by her doctor to eat more veggies is struggling to eat salads. I don’t have that problem, I just really have a sweet tooth, as we say. I come from a long line of Danish butter loving people, that I really identify with, and for the next while I need to break with that tradition and try not to put sour cream on my beets and things like that. The other thing that’s gone wacko is I can’t get my camera to focus, go figure so I used my husband’s camera and I can’t get that to focus either, must be a problem that’s going around! So, I’m posting this recipe with the most focused photo of the bunch, I will persevere and get to the bottom of this focus problem, I think it’s called get new glasses!

I’m going to try a few new recipes from ‘The Herbal Kitchen’ by Jerry Traunfeld, this is one of my favorite cookbooks that is of the healthier variety in my collection. I’m starting with this salad recipe and I’m sure they will get progressively less healthy as I go along.

Ingredients and Directions

6 servings, I ate almost the whole thing myself, do you think there’s a problem?

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 pound fresh green beans
1 bunch radishes, cut into wedges, about 2 cups
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup thin shavings Parmigiano-Reggiano

Stir the shallots and vinegar together in a large mixing bowl and let them sit for awhile to mellow the flavor of the shallots.

Boil the beans in a large pot of salted water until crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the beans. Drain the beans and plunge in a bowl of ice water, drain again and dry off.

Add the beans to the shallots and toss in the radishes, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Put on a platter and top with the shaved cheese.

Think red radishes and not red cake! Just be sure to use tender green beans and you will be happy with this combination of colorful vegetables. You can also try different herbs in place of the basil, like tarragon or dill. Goat cheese might be a nice switch from the Parmesan.

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Salad with Green Beans and Gravenstein Apples


I love the smell and taste of Gravenstein apples, I can’t resist them. I was inspired to create something a little bit different then I had planned when I went to the market. So, I put them in my salad, no problem.

8-10 Cups arugula and escarole, cleaned and dried, tear escarole leaves into pieces
2 handfuls green beans, nice fairly thin ones, blanched for 1-2 minutes and placed in ice water
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 thinly sliced Gravenstein apple
1 minced small shallot
4 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon champagne wine vinegar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Whisk together walnut oil, champagne wine vinegar, creme fraiche, shallot, sea salt and pepper, set aside for flavors to develop while putting together salad.

2. In a large bowl put together arugula, escarole, apple. green beans and walnuts. Add dressing to salad and mix together.

Serve on your grandmother’s best glass tea sandwich platter.