Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bean There, Done That

Don't get me wrong, I love my standby 'Bean Salad Marinade', but... by the time my early fall crop of Scarlet Runner Beans are producing, my taste buds crave new flavors. Time to search for some interesting recipe ideas. 
Well, a few years ago I did just that and have used the recipe below as a back up ever since. This is my adapted version, from a recipe originally created by Roger Mooking. At a glance the ingredient list looked a bit odd, but the first bite delivered a delicate balance of sweet, sour, salt, and crunch. If you don't have prosciutto or asparagus on hand, try just beans with the Warm Lemon Dressing. Either way, an interesting salad!
Bon Appetit! 
Scarlet Runner ~ flowers and immature beans
Green Bean & Asparagus Salad with Warm Lemon Dressing      
         ~ Yield: 4 servings ~

Green Bean and Asparagus Salad:
     1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
     1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed
     extra virgin olive oil

Crispy Prosciutto:
     8 pieces prosciutto, thinly sliced

Warm Lemon Dressing:
     3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
     1/2 shallot, diced
     1/4 cup skinless almonds, sliced
     1/4 cup sultana raisins
     1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
     juice of 1 lemon
     1 tsp. honey
     salt and pepper 

For the Salad;  blanch green beans in boiling, salted water for 5-7 minutes, drain well and place in a bowl. Meanwhile trim and wash the asparagus spears, coat lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Place on an oiled bake sheet. Roast in a preheated 450F oven for 7-10 minutes, until tender but still somewhat firm. Cool slightly and cut into 1-inch pieces, put in bowl with blanched beans.
For the Crispy Prosciutto;  heat a non-stick fry pan over medium to high heat. Place pieces of prosciutto in pan and cook until crisp. Remove from heat, cool completely then crumble into chunks, set aside.

For the Warm Lemon Dressing;  place 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a pan over medium to high heat. Add shallots, season with salt and saute until tender. Add almonds, raisins and olives, mix to incorporate. Add lemon juice and honey and stir. Add remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Salad Assembly; pour Warm Lemon Dressing over beans and asparagus, toss and garnish with Crispy Prosciutto.  

Photo by Sally Rae

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