Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese

Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese
I love this Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese.  So many of my favorite flavors!

(Updated July 2008) The twenty-fourth of July is a holiday in Utah, celebrating the day the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake valley in 1847. Nowdays that means everyone gets an extra day off in July, so my friends Mary and Ken had a barbecue. One of the things I made for the party was this green bean salad, so I decided it was time to finally take a photo of this dish and update the recipe.

The original version of this salad used purchased red wine vinaigrette, combined with a bit of mustard, thyme, and oregano to make the dressing. This time I used some leftover roasted tomato dressing from the White Bean Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Tomato-Basil Dressing I made recently. I'll give you both those dressing choices in this updated version, but if you have fresh green beans from your garden or farmers market, (or those lovely French style green beans from Costco) I think you should definitely make this salad.

Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe and variations created by Kalyn.)

1 lb. fresh green beans (about 4-5 cups beans)
1 red onion or sweet white onion, cut in half crosswise, then into slivers the same size as the beans
1/2 cup or more pitted Kalamata Olives, cut in half (or use any type of black olives that you like)
6-8 oz. crumbled feta cheese (I used my favorite feta cheese)

Dressing Choice #1 - with Red Wine Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup purchased red wine vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette (use dressing with less than 3 grams sugar per serving for South Beach Dieters)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Choice #2 - with Roasted Tomato-Basil Dressing:
3/4 cup slow roasted tomatoes (or use 1 can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Organic Tomatoes, very well drained (save the liquid and use to replace water in the dressing)
1/4 cup frozen basil puree (or use generous 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 T water (or tomato liquid if using canned tomatoes)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (if you don't have Spike I would use some other type of season salt)

Trim both ends of beans. (For the thin beans, I trim them by loosely holding a handful of beans while standing them upright on the cutting board to line up ends of beans.) Then cut beans into pieces about 2 inches long. Steam beans until barely tender-crisp, about 5 minutes, then quickly drain beans and plunge into cold water with ice cubes to stop cooking. Remove quickly from ice water and let beans drain very well in a colander.

While beans are draining, make dressing. For red wine vinegar dressing, just whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. For roasted tomato-basil dressing, combine tomatoes, basil puree, vinegar, 2 T water, garlic, and Spike seasoning in food processor. Puree until ingredients are well combined, then taste to see if you want to add another tablespoon of water. Remove mixture to a small bowl and use whisk to mix olive oil into dressing.

Cut onions into strips slightly smaller than beans and cut olives in half. Combine beans, olives, and onions in plastic or glass container with a lid, pour dressing over and stir a few times so all vegetables are well covered. Chill several hours to allow flavors to blend. Just before serving sprinkle feta cheese over salad.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Made with low-sugar red wine vinaigrette or my roasted tomato -basil dressing, this salad is a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic eating plan. Be sure to use a moderate amount of feta for South Beach dieters.

More Salads with Green Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Rand's Crab and Tangerine Nicoise with Lemon Vinaigrette
Green Bean Salad with Hearts of Palm, Olives, Red Pepper, and Feta
Mexican Green Bean Salad from Simply Recipes
Thai Green Bean Salad from London Foodie in New York
Fresh Green Bean Salad from Trini Gourmet
Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing from A Veggie Venture
Green and Yellow Bean Salad from The Kitchen Sink
Roasted Red Pepper and Green Bean Salad from We Heart Food
Green Bean, Red Onion, and Pecorino Salad from Greedy Gourmet
Green Bean and Tomato Salad from The Savory Notebook
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  1. That looks delicious Kalyn! I love a good mixed bean salad, and usually make mine with kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and roasted corn. Would love tio try your version soon. Cheers!

  2. Yum! Delectable.

    I don't know where you posted it, but I wanted to thank you for mentioning that switching blog feeds to the short form will thwart scrapers.

    I got Blogger to remove my content from some sites, but it kept happening. Since I switched to the abbreviated feed, I haven't seen any more. Thanks again!

    And for all your wonderful recipes.

  3. That looks fantastic!
    So much rich history where you live. Glad they take advantage of acknowledging it!

  4. Meena, your bean salad sounds great! I love bean salad too.

    Kitt, you're welcome. It was hard for me to decide to switch to short feed, but I would never go back now. The scraping problem has pretty much stopped for me, and no more hassling with it.

    Kristen, we love having two holidays in July, and the Pioneer Days celebrations are a lot of fun. Some years I take my nieces and nephews to the huge parade and fireworks, but not this year.

  5. Kalyn, I think I star almost every recipe you post. This looks so good!

  6. This sounds so good! I would have never thought to turn the green beans into a Greek salad!

  7. Great idea! I think I have everything to make this tonight!

  8. I love this! My beans are about to go gangbusters, so I'll defintely be giving this a try . . . thanks!

  9. This salad sounds so good! I really like the roasted tomato and basil dressing.

  10. Lark's Kitchen DoorsJuly 30, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Fantastic recipe, thanks for sharing!

  11. I have just enough of your slow-roasted tomatoes from last season to make this dressing, which, by the way, sounds just yummy. What would we do without green beans!

  12. I should try this with both the dressings you suggested, Looks great!

    Kalyn, these days I am into low-glycemic diets, but feeling very weak and tired.... is there any side effects to such diets?


  13. Padma, I can only answer for myself, but I haven't had that problem. In fact when I'm sticking most carefully to the diet, I have more energy. You might need to be sure you're having a snack every 2-3 hours, and maybe check with your doctor. Do take care of yourself!

  14. Thnks Kalyn for sharing Green Bean Salad with us.

  15. I like this salad, particularly addition of the feta and the olives. Salty, but then the beans are crunchy.. yum. Well done. And I'm very amused that Utah gets a holiday for when the Mormons arrived! It makes total sense, what a fun way of keeping in touch with regional history.

  16. Ooh, lots of my favourite things in here. I love it and am definitely bookmarking it for our forthcoming summer BBQ :)

  17. Lots of wonderful reading here, thanks! I was looking on yahoo when I identified your publish, I’m going to add your feed to Google Reader, I look forward to more from you.


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