Wow it’s been awhile. I took a mini vacation from writing in this space and did some traveling and gave my tiny apartment a much needed makeover. Sometimes all you need is some sunshine, warm weather, and fresh new bed linens to make everything feel new again. Similar to this salad. It’s an old and familiar recipe revamped to feel new and exciting again. Since green beans are in season, I figured it was the perfect time to share this summer salad with you. It travels well in a tupperware making it perfect for a picnic at the park or a barbecue.
The original recipe is a Mediterranean farro salad of green beans, red peppers, and olives. I decided to switch it up with quinoa instead of farro which can be hard to come by for many people. Also I scaled back the amount of quinoa to compliment and showcase the green beans. Instead of serving the peppers raw, I roasted them to add a texture contrast against the crunchy beans. Lastly, I decided to leave out the olives, and use balsamic instead of red wine vinegar making it not so much a Mediterranean/Greek salad. Crumbled fresh parmesan really brings this dish together and rounds out the flavors. So if you can, try to get your hands on a nice block of fresh parmesan.
Balsamic Green Bean Salad
adapted from Giada’s Kitchen
Crumbled fresh parmesan really brings the flavors of this dish together. So if you can, try to get your hands on a nice block of fresh parmesan.
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup crumbled parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
course sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange the red peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and black around the edges. Set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, give it a quick stir, and cover with a tight fitted lid. Simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to steam covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a spoon. All of the water should have absorbed. Transfer the quinoa to a serving bowl to cool.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until vibrant green. Drain and transfer the green beans to an ice bath to cool for 2 minutes. Drain again.
Add the green beans, red peppers, parmesan, chives, and almonds to the serving bowl with the quinoa. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dijon. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk together until combined. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.