The last weekend of summer is upon us. This calls for family get-togethers, back yard BBQS, farewell trips to the beach, and back to school! I have always loved the beginning of September because it means I go back to the classroom and dig in for another year of teaching. I love to cook and I love to play my instruments, but teaching is my life’s calling – it’s where I feel most at home.
If you are planning a weekend picnic, this is the perfect salad. Straight from one of the Moosewood Cookbooks (The Enchanted Broccoli Forest). It’s perfect in every way and always gets RAVE reviews. I know at first glance the ingredients don’t seem to ‘match,’ but trust me, they’re excellent!
Here’s what you need:
1 ½ lbs fresh green beans, cleaned and trimmed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried dill
Black pepper to taste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3-4 T fresh lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
½ C fresh parsley, minced
1/3 lb swiss cheese, cut in thin strips
½ C chopped ripe olives – use a great quality olive; avoid using the canned stuff
1 small green pepper cut in thin strips
1 small red pepper cut in thin strips
½ C chopped or slivered, toasted almonds
Here’s what you do:
Blanch the green beans until tender-crisp. Cool them under cold water. Slice the cheese and veggies. Prepare the dressing by whisking everything together…. The original recipe calls for adding the vinegar and lemon juice at the last minute to keep the beans nice and green and crisp. I know that’s probably the best way to prepare this salad, but I just mix it all together and it turns out great every time.
Happy Labor Day to my American friends, and happy back to school to all those teachers, parents and students out there!