Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Green Bean Salad Recipe with Hearts of Palm, Olives, Red Pepper, and Feta


We're having a little surge of green bean recipes. Just yesterday I shared the recipe for Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts, which I've decided are the best green beans I've ever tasted. I've only posted one other recipe with green beans, and that bean salad was the inspiration for this one. I'm eating the leftovers as I write this, and this tastes fantastic. I think there might be a lot more green beans in my future, at least as long as Costco keeps carrying those lovely French green beans.

I'm using fresh oregano here, partly because I have it growing like crazy in my garden. I've actually heard that some Greek cooks prefer dried oregano, and Wikipedia even claims that dried oregano is more flavorful than fresh, but I love the fresh oregano flavor. Last year I featured oregano for the first Weekend Herb Blogging post of the summer. This year, summer came a little early to Utah, so oregano is back with gusto, and this is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging #83, hosted by Rinku of Cooking in Westchester.

Because it contains anti-oxidants, oregano is considered one of The World's Healthiest Foods. It's commonly associated with pizza sauce, and is used widely in Greek, Italian, and Mexican cuisine. There are two types of oregano, Greek Oregano and Mexican Oregano, and both types have their uses. Adding to the confusion is the fact that marjoram is often confused with oregano. For this salad you want Greek oregano, or use dried oregano if you don't have any fresh oregano on hand.

Green Bean Salad with Hearts of Palm, Olives, Red Pepper, and Feta
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 lb. fresh green beans, preferably French green beans
1-2 cups sliced hearts of palm
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 cup roasted red bell pepper from a jar, diced in pieces about 3/8 inch square
(could substitute sun dried tomatoes)
1/3 cup Feta cheese
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing:
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 T chopped fresh oregano (or use small amount dried oregano)
1 T chopped fresh basil (I would omit basil if I only had dried basil)

Trim ends from green beans. (I do this by gathering a handfull, then standing them up on the cutting board while holding loosely so the beans all line up, then trimming the end. Turn over and repeat with the other end.) Cut beans into pieces about 2 inches long.

Steam beans until they are barely tender-crisp. I steamed mine ten minutes in an electric vegetable steamer. On the stove top, it would take less time. I prefer the beans quite crisp.

While beans cook, combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, chopped fresh oregano and chopped fresh basil in food processor. Process until herbs are very finely chopped and dressing is mixed well. (I did this in the small bowl chopper attachment of my immersion blender, which worked great.)

When beans are as tender as you'd like them, remove from steamer and plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove beans to colander and let cool about and drain about 15 minutes. When beans are cool, combine with small amount of dressing and marinate 30 minutes, or longer if possible.

When ready to serve salad, combine marinated beans with sliced hearts of palm, olive halves, and chopped red pepper. Add as much dressing as needed to moisten salad and combine gently. (You will not need all the dressing.) Add feta cheese and stir 1-2 times to barely mix in feta. Grind over some black pepper and serve immediately. This will keep for several days in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving the leftovers.



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South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. It would taste great with Very Greek Grilled Chicken or Grilled Spicy Tuna. For phase two or three, add something like Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi.

More Oregano Love:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients.)
Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano
Chicken Soup with Garbanzos and Oregano
Oregano/Hazelnut Pesto from Stephen Cooks
Mozarella with Capers, Chillies, and Oregano from Lucullian Delights
Chicken with Almonds, Olives, and Oregano from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
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18 comments:

  1. I made Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan for today's dinner and it was very delicious. Lemon and Pine nuts go well with beans. Thank you. Oh! Another beens salad. I will buy beens again.

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  2. Hi Millufe, that was quick! I'm so glad you liked it. I need to buy more beans too!

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  3. Great recipe!
    When are you going to have a cookbook with all these terrific items ( and your story) in it?
    I see other bloggers getting books-you deserver it.
    Thanks for all you do.

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  4. I'm off to the store, and green beans are at the top of my list!! Thanks.

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  5. Kalyn, and when I thought it couldn't get any better... you go and win my heart by using hears of palm! I love this recipe!

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  6. I have to try your salad... looks scrumptious :) my herb garden has started sprouting. I will soon have my own fresh herbs!

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  7. Anonymous, you are too kind. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It might be fun to write a cookbook someday, but not until I'm retired from teaching school, that's for sure. I'd certainly consider it if I had a publisher, but I wouldn't self-publish, too much work and not enough money in it.

    Dani, green beans are on my shopping list too.

    Patricia, I love hearts of palm. I learned to like it when I worked as a waitress in a fancy restaurant.

    Mandira, very happy to hear about your herbs. There's nothing quite so great as walking out to the garden and picking your own herbs to put in a dish.

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  8. Hi Kalyn Thanks for dropping by Winos and Foodies and your kind comments. Maybe you will join us next year.

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  9. Hi kalyn, an awesome recipes. Well, i believe the green beans are nutrien and good eating diet for lunch especially. I wish if can get a receipe book from you.

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  10. I recently planted green and wax beans and they would be perfect for that recipe. It looks fabulous!

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  11. Hi Kalyn,

    This one looks like a real winner to me as well. We will not be getting local green beans (Or string beans, as they are called in these parts) for a while, but I will be remembering this.

    About the antioxidant level of oregano--does the amount in a tablespoon really add up, or would we have to eat an entire salad of oregano leaves?

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  12. Barbara, definitely count on me for next year, and continued good wishes coming to you.

    Food diet, maybe someday I'll write a cookbook, but not until I retire from teaching school, that's for sure!

    Sher, I loved this salad.

    TCL, here's what it says about the anti-oxidant properties of oregano, which I found quite astonishing:
    "Additionally, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries." This was from The World's Healthiest Foods, which I think is very reliable.

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  13. Those green beans look gorgeous - not like the big, tough ones at my grocery store. I'm hoping to grow them successfully this year so that I can have a proper green bean straight from the garden. The last time I tried, the bunnies trampled and then the bugs munched.....grrrr........

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  14. hi kalyn - this recipe looks like a great combination of colours and flavours - I was searching for recipes for interesting salads to link to from a rant on salads on my blog so have linked to this one - and I hope to try it sometime (which it warms up in Melbourne maybe) thanks for sharing your inspiration!

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  15. Alysha, good luck growing your green beans. I had to give up on them because so many get ready at one time I just can't use them up fast enough and they get too big.

    Johanna, thanks for linking to my salad. I like the sound of your other salads listed too.

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  16. Sounds great. I never tried palm hearts yet. I will make this salad some time soon.
    Thanx for sharing,
    Margot

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  17. I made this for my supper club last month to rave reviews and rather enjoyed it myself (after buying harcort vert at Costco on a rouge trip there with my step mother) but I try to eat locally (and therefor seasonally) and get most of my fresh veggies from the farmer's market or my CSA and green beans are still several weeks off so I have been making this with asparagus and it is great. Thanks for the great recipes -- I have added you to my blogroll. Loved the roasted mushrooms, too, that I finally got around to making this weekend.

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  18. Coffee and Vanilla, hearts of palm are wonderful, and low cal, low fat, high nutrition. They are rather expensive, but great for a splurge.

    Jasmine, thanks for the feedback. So glad you liked the salad and I love y our idea of using asparagus. I'll have to try that version and credit you for the idea!

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