We get vegetables delivered every week, and unless I remember to check the order online and tweak it, what we get is the company’s selection of what’s in season. It usually works out pretty well even if I don’t remember to make any changes, because the produce is fresh and high quality. But every so often we end up flooded with something. At colder times of year I call it “attack of the winter vegetables”; right now it’s an onslaught of green beans. There’s nothing wrong with them, we just don’t want to eat them plain night after night.
So I’ve been experimenting with sauces for them — the other night we had them with a sour cream sauce that worked well. I’ve also noted that they can be eaten cold, usually as part of a salad or at least with a salad-like dressing. I’d never served cold green beans, but it was either that or pickle them, and I’d already written about pickles. Peppers and tomatoes are often paired with green beans in hot dishes, so I set out to see if they’d taste good together cold, too. Not only do they taste good, they look very interesting, with the coral color of the other vegetables in contrast to the dark green.
(Speaking of color, I had to make one compromise: Green beans will be a much brighter green if you run cold water over them just after they’re cooked. However, they’ll soak up dressing better if they’re still hot when you put it on. I went for soaking up, and since I was careful not to let them cook too long the color came out fine too.)
- ½ pound fresh green beans
- 1 roasted red pepper*
- 1 teaspoon salad oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato juice**
- Steam the beans for about seven minutes till just tender enough to eat. Drain well.
- While they’re cooking, remove the pepper’s skin if you haven’t already. Puree the pepper with the oil and juice in a food processor.
- It will come out chunky and lighter than you would think — coral colored, as I said above.
- Toss with the cooked beans, sprinkle with salt, and let them cool.
- Serve at room temperature or cold; the taste comes through better when they’re on the warm side.
- This is fine as is, or as the base for a salad, or a finishing touch for another salad.
- *You can make this yourself, watch for an upcoming article.
- **I used the juice from a can of diced tomatoes.