This is a super simple salad that’s bursting with zesty flavour and brilliant colours. And since it’s harvest season, this is the perfect time to make Green Bean and Red Pepper Salad with fresh local ingredients! It’s a perfect companion to a Monte Cristo sandwich because of the balance of flavours and colours.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. My friend Wendy shared this recipe with me years ago. It takes no time to throw together but really packs a punch in the flavour department. If you make the dressing first you can pour it over the beans and peppers while they’re still warm and serve it that way. Or chill it and serve later.
To make the dijon vinaigrette just mix everything together in a jar and shake well. You’ll probably have some leftover dressing. It’s great on any mixed green salad.
Fresh young green beans are best
Use the freshest long thin beans you can get. Rinse well and trim the stems. Remove any short beans or weird ones. I save them for soups or stews. A full pound of beans is more than you need, allowing for wasting a few duds that don’t make the cut. Slice the red pepper into very thin strips, matching the thickness and length of the beans. Use a pot large enough to hold all the beans and peppers, salt the water and bring to a boil. Toss in the beans, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and turn the heat off. Drain after about 30 seconds. Or less. Maybe 20. You don’t want to cook them, just give them a quick blanch. Otherwise, they’ll be too soft and lose some of the vibrant colour. You want the beans to be tender crisp.
Drain well. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Make sure there’s no water left behind or it will dilute the dressing.
Pour most of the dressing over, saving some to add just before serving.
Toss well and refrigerate. This is best served cold so allow enough time for the beans and peppers to cool.
To serve, arrange on a platter and drizzle some extra dressing over top.
Add some fresh chopped or torn basil and freshly grated black pepper if desired.
Here’s the recipe:
Green Bean and Red Pepper Salad
Green Bean and Red Pepper Salad Serves 4-6 Ingredients 1 lb tender thin green beans 2 sweet red peppers ¼ C olive oil 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil + more for garnish (or 1 tsp dried basil) ½ tsp sugar ½ tsp salt Cracked black pepper for finishing Method Wash and trim stems from beans, discarding any that aren't full length or of poor quality. Rinse and finely slice red peppers into strips the size of the beans. Prepare dressing by combining oil, vinegar, Dijon, minced garlic, chopped basil, sugar and salt. Shake well. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add peppers, remove pot from heat. Drain well after 30 seconds. Rinse with cold water and drain again, shaking to ensure all water is removed. Return beans and pepper to the pot and pour most of the dressing over top. Toss well. Refrigerate until well chilled. To serve, arrange on a platter, scatter fresh chopped basil and top with cracked black pepper if desired. Drizzle additional dressing over top.