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Tomato & String Bean Salad

Tomato & String Bean Salad
Serves 4, Or More As Part Of A Larger Spread

This is my version of a Greek steak house salad – it’s fantastic with a steak or any kind of protein. Add toasted bread and it’s a Greek version of the Italian dish panzanella. I recommend going a step further by adding a grilled onion: the char flavor works perfectly with the ripe fruit and vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ pound green beans, ends trimmed
  • ¼ yellow wax beans, ends trimmed⅓ to ½ cup Red Wine and Feta Vinaigrette (See below)
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into rough wedges
  • 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 6 small, picked sprigs parsley, torn
  • 6 small, picked sprigs dill, torn
  • 16 leaves fresh mint, torn
  • Kosher salt and coarsely cracked black pepper

Method:

  1. Prepare an ice water bath and bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the beans until tender but still snappy, about 3 minutes, then shock them in the ice water bath and swish around. Drain well and dry on a clean towel.
  2. In a bowl, combine the beans, vinaigrette, feta, tomatoes, oregano, red onion, and torn herbs. Toss well with clean hands. Taste and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and pepper.
    *If you wish, add toasted chunks of day-old bread, brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
    *Or try adding half a grilled Spanish or sweet onion, separated in rings.

Red Wine & Feta Vinaigrette
Makes 1 ¼ Cups

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 small onion, sliced and grilled
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon picked thyme
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 shallots, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dry Greek oregano
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method:
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, onion, basil thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

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