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You can serve this green bean salad hot or cold. It’s a winner either way!
A Salad For All Seasons
No matter what season it is, this Italian green bean salad always is a good choice.
There aren’t too many salads you can serve hot or cold, but this is one of them It’s equally good either way.
Since it’s marinated, you may want to call it pickled green beans. As a result, if you let it sit for a day, it will have tons of flavor. For a lighter flavor, just let it sit for about an hour.
It’s so good, you may just want to call it dinner. And if you have vegetarian friends stopping by, you might want to consider this for your menu. You can make it vegan too if you leave out the cheese or substitute a vegan cheese for the regular grated cheese.
Preparing the Green Beans
As always, I prefer to use fresh green beans. If I buy them in the bag instead of the loose ones, I generally prefer what they call “French” beans. This doesn’t mean French cut like the frozen kind; they are just much thinner beans than the standard variety.
You can use frozen if you like, but buy whole green beans. This salad won’t work well with canned beans so my advice is skip the canned ones.
You get to decide the doneness of the beans. My personal taste is lightly blanched so they are still very crisp. However, you can cook them to tender if that is the way you like them. The only thing you have to do is dump them in very cold or ice water as soon as they are cooked. This stops the cooking process and the beans remain their lovely green color.
The dressing is a light vinaigrette which is very easy to prepare. It has a lovely oregano flavor. Make it ahead so the oregano infuses in the dressing. Actually this is a lovely dressing for standard lettuce-based salads and tomatoes, so you might want to double or triple the recipe. And fresh oregano works best however dried works well too. In fact, I used the dry kind to make this dressing. But if you have fresh, double the amount in the recipe and bruise it a bit before adding it in so you get more flavor.
And the surprise is you can use bottled Italian dressing too if you don’t feel like bothering with making the one in the recipe. Likewise, you can use my copycat mix for Good Seasons so you make a fresh dressing;
Italian Green Bean Salad
- 12 oz fresh whole green beans trimmed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a lidded jar. Shake to combine and set aside.
- Cook green beans to desired doneness. Drain off water and immediately immerse the beans in very cold or ice water if you wish to serve cold. Drain beans and dry on paper towels. To serve hot, place drained beans in a bowl
- Add the dressing and grated cheese to the beans and toss to coat.
- Cold salad: Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for a few hours. The longer they marinate, the better they will taste.