Sunday, July 5, 2015

Green Bean Salad

Over the past few weeks I met Brandon and his partner, Chad, taking the dogs to the dog park.  Their dog, Lucy, plays well with Lightning and Jack and Gizmo so we exchanged phone numbers with the promise to set up future play dates for them.  At the end of our latest play date, they invited me to a BBQ at their house for the 4th of July.  It was a small, but fun, get together with them, Brandon's sister and her husband and daughter and another gentlemen who rents a room in their house.  I haven't laughed so much in a long time!!  It was awesome!

One of the salads was this amazing marinated green bean concoction that made my tastebuds feel like they'd been transported directly to Heaven.  So delicious!

And different.  And refreshing.

I kept going back for just one more little taste so I could figure out how to make it!

This recipe may be just a little frustrating to anyone who's looking for precise measurements and cook times but it's salad and the ingredients are subjective.  For example, I like onions and would add them generously but after bell peppers made their choice to do me bad I don't like them so much and would choose to skimp on them.  You might feel just the opposite so your salad would happily have more peppers and less onion than mine.  And that's perfectly wonderful!

Green Bean Salad

In whatever quantity is pleasing to both your eye and tastebuds toss any (or all) of the following vegetables together in a very large bowl:
Sliced onion
Rough chunks of multi-colored bell peppers
Inch cuts of celery
Thick slices of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, cucumbers
Small button mushrooms
Match-stick cut carrots
Finely chopped fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, jalapeno pepper

Add double that amount of fresh green beans snapped into approximate 2-inch long pieces. The green beans are the feature ingredient, the star of the show, so you want lots of them!

You'll need enough marinade/dressing to barely submerge all of the vegetables for several hours, even overnight, prior to serving. Mix apple cider vinegar, white vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and heat until almost ready to begin boiling.  Remove from heat and stir in a bit of turmeric and a few pinches of pickling spice.  It should taste very much like the brine from bread & butter pickles.  Let cool slightly and then pour over your vegetables.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time.  Strain or use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables from marinade and put them into your serving dish.  Splash just a bit of the marinade over the top.  You still want the vegetables to be quite moist, just not drowning while out on your table...

My mouth is watering just telling you about it!  Pretty sure this salad has a destiny as a summer cookout staple in my life...

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