Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

RECIPE: Green Bean, Orange, and Green Olive Salad

It is not quite summer, but lately it feels as hot as summer. This means that when your day is already long and sweltering and you come home to an apartment with no air conditioning, where the walls are releasing the heat they have gathered throughout the day, the last thing you want to do is go turn on the oven.

This is the time of year when I eat salads nonstop and save the heavy cooking for the chefs in the restaurants. But eating salads all the time gets pretty boring and I'm always looking for something new and interesting.

May's issue of Bon Appetit had a very unique salad from chef Bill Granger. There's not a piece of lettuce in sight here, but instead the incredibly different combination of green beans, oranges, and green olives. This is why I need creative chefs and food magazines, because I could never come up with something like this in a billion years.

We happened to have an overabundance of green beans in the house, since J. and I had both purchased some without knowing that the other had. It may seem strange, but we often don't grocery shop together. He works from home and tends to purchase a week's worth of food at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, all at once on Monday afternoon; while I shop everyday just for the things I need for the next day at the small market in walking distance. I'm food fickle and if I want something on Monday, chances are I will turn my nose up at it on Thursday. Its best for me to take it one day at a time.


I paired the salad with a potato-garlic soup purchased from above-mentioned market and then garnished with creme fraiche, chives, and cracked black pepper to make it fancy.

The salad itself was refreshing and very good for a warm weather salad, with the crisp beans and the juicy oranges. I didn't really think the flavors melded at all, but they didn't make a gross combination either. It was more like several delicious ingredients in a bowl together than a harmonious combination of flavors.

I'm not sure if I would make this again, but it was good and interesting to try once.

RECIPE:

Makes 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 12 oz. haricots verts or small slender green beans, trimmed
  • 2 oranges, all peel and white pith cut away
  • 1/2 cup small green olives (such as picholine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
Whisk first three ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cook beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and pat dry. You can let the dressing and beans stand at room temperature up to two hours before serving.

Cut oranges in half, then crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices; place in large bowl. Mix in olives, parsley, beans, and dressing. Transfer to a shallow dish.

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