Sometimes I don’t always see how ingredients can come together for a finished dish and, like everyone, I have my moments where I open the refrigerator and wonder what on earth there is to eat for dinner.
Of course, it helps to stay stocked with fresh produce, favorite condiments, and a small herb garden; that way, it’s fairly easy to whip something up that is tasty and exciting. Today’s grilled green bean salad is a perfect example.
I won’t be steaming vegetables again until autumn, not green beans, anyway. Tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and slightly charred on the grill is the best way to enjoy this summery green vegetable – and then there is always the option of turning them into a fine salad.
In today’s post I want to encourage you to cook on the fly, to build a dish based on what you have on hand. Sure you can pick up the exact ingredients for the salad above if you like (and you should, at least once, because it is amazing), but there’s no reason not to work with what you have in the fridge.
That’s what quick and simple summer eating is all about.
This is where we start: grilled green beans, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, are the base of our salad and totally delicious on their own.
Would these make a simple side dish? You bet. Finish them with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange, and a dusting of freshly ground pepper. But we’re going to keep building this salad.
For the first few ingredients to fill out the salad, I’ve quartered cherry tomatoes to add a bit of acidity and thinly sliced a shallot for a touch of heat, because that is what I had on my counter.
Other great additions could be:
- segments of orange
- grilled corn kernels
- roasted cubed sweet potato
- shaved fennel
- oven roasted cherry tomatoes
- slices of fresh peach
- boiled egg, chopped or grated
- grilled mushrooms
- cubed watermelon
For a bit of heat, consider diced red onion, a very thinly sliced Thai chili, or green onion, also grilled if you like, and chopped.
This is where a flavor punch come into the picture and rounds out the salad. I’ve added a spoonful of capers and a handful of bruised Thai basil leaves and finished everything with a little more olive oil.
To achieve a really memorable flavor combination consider any -but not all- of the following:
- slivered pickled garlic
- diced preserved lemons
- chopped black olives, such a Kalamata, or a meaty green olive
- a spoonful of pesto
- cooked, crumbled bacon
For herbs: basil, oregano, thyme and parsley would all be vibrant and delicious. Don’t forget about tarragon and mint, but in smaller amounts as they are pretty potent.
Additional garnishes could be:
- toasted, chopped almonds
- crumbled feta cheese
- Parmesan shavings
- diced firm avocado
The decision is yours!
Now you have the perfect summer side dish to accompany grilled meats or seafood. It’s best served warm or at room temperature and transports very well for picnics or a barbecue with friends. Make one today!
|Grilled Green Salad||
- 1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes,
- 1 shallot
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- 2 Tablespoons Thai basil
- Preheat grill to 400F. Toss green beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and place in a grill basket over the heat. Grill for five minutes, turning occasionally, until green beans are floppy and lightly charred in places.
- Remove from grill and place in a salad serving bowl. Drizzle remaining olive oil, salt and the lemon juice over the top.
- Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add them to the green beans. Peel and thinly slice the shallot and add to the salad as well. Add the capers.
- Roughly chop the Thai basil and sprinkle over the salad. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning. Add a sprinkling of salt if needed. Serve warm.
More great grilled salads:
- Grilled Caesar Salad
- Grilled Fruit Salad with Lime
- Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad with Lime & Basil
- Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad
- Grilled Vegetable Salad
I must take a minute to thank you all for your keen and kind response to my cookbook announcement on Friday. Reading your comments, Tweets, and messages was so encouraging and confirmed that I am taking on the right project. I am completely moved and so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.
Let me know what sort of grilled green bean salad you come up with.