July 4th is synonymous with picnics, parties, potlucks, and parades. Those who are fortunate enough to live near a body of water can enjoy dining al fresco on the beach.
One of my favorite recipes for all these purposes is this vegetable and nutrition-packed salad. It’s easy to make ahead, travels well, is great at room temperature, and has no mayonnaise or other ingredients that might spoil in heat on the beach.
Even better, it’s made with simple, fresh ingredients, and because it’s soy free, meat free, dairy free, gluten free, nut free, corn free, (whewh!) almost everyone can eat it! Bring it to your festive event tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll be bringing an empty bowl home.
Post below and let me know how it goes, and I do hope you have a ‘liberating’ fourth of July!
Green Bean Salad with Corn, Basil & Black Olives
Makes 4 generous servings
Active time: 45 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes
This vibrant summer salad goes well with just about any entrée, particularly grilled foods. But it’s also hearty enough to be a meal in itself; just serve it over dark, leafy greens or baby super greens mix. You’ll want to use ultra-fresh beans and corn (organic, to avoid GMOs) and blanch them just long enough to tenderize them and bring out their color. It’s worth the effort to seek out oil- or salt-cured olives as they complement the flavors better than typical canned olives in brine.
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces
2 cups cooked black beans, pinto beans, or garbanzo beans
2 ears corn, husked, cut in half if necessary to fit in blanching pot
½ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
½ red onion, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup oil-cured black olives, (or salt-cured) halved and pitted
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1½ Tbsp lemon juice
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of cayenne
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare all the vegetables and store each component separately, in plastic bags lined in the refrigerator. Make the vinaigrette and hold at room temperature. Allow the vegetables to come to room temperature before serving, and toss with the vinaigrette. Do not dress the salad ahead of time, as the lemon juice will cause the green beans to lose some of their vibrant color.
Photo Notes: I shot these pictures before I drizzled the dressing on, and I used meaty Scarlet Runner beans.
Source: Adapted by Stephanie Prima from EatingWell, March/April 1995