|I loved the unique combination of flavors in this Green Bean Summer Salad with Sausage, Olives, and Basil Vinaigrette!|
Sometimes I think outside the box a little when I'm staring into the fridge wondering what to make with what I have on hand, and that's what happened with this Green Bean Summer Salad with Italian Sausage, Olives, and Basil Vinaigrette. I don't really know what made me combine these flavors, except I had fresh green beans and turkey Italian sausage that needed to be used, and I think olives and basil vinaigrette would taste good with just about anything. All I can say is, it worked. I'm calling this a "summer" salad because I wouldn't make this unless I had fresh green beans, but if you like all these flavors, be open minded and give this a try!
Trim the green beans on both ends. (I line up the beans for trimming the ends by grabbing a handful and standing them up loosely in my hand, then letting the ends fall down onto the cutting board.) Then cut the beans in half so you have pieces that are about 2-3 inches long.
I have this wonderful old-fashioned vegetable steamer, so I used it to steam the beans, but you can use a metal colander stuck into a pan with a lid if you need to. (Or if steaming doesn't work, cook with just a small amount of water in the pan.) Let the water come to a boil, then add beans and cook about 8 minutes, or until beans are still tender crisp. (It looks like there is water over the beans, but it's a discolored part on the pan!
This was another recipe where I used this delicious and low-fat turkey Italian sausage that I seem to buy every time I go to Costco.
While the beans steam, slice up the sausage so you can brown it. (If you're not using precooked sausage, you'll have to cook it before you do this.)
Saute the sausage pieces in a little olive oil, turning often until it's well browned on all sides. (If you have a giant pan like this, it makes it easier!) I browned the sausage about 10 minutes; don't rush it.
Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath to put the beans in as soon as they're done to stop the cooking. (I used my salad spinner so it would be easy to drain the beans.)
I used some of my frozen basil to make the basil vinaigrette, but you can also use chopped fresh basil.
Stir together the green beans, browned sausage, and olives and then stir in desired amount of vinaigrette. (And I guess I was anxious to eat some because I didn't manage to take a photo of the salad with the dressing stirred in!)
Green Bean Summer Salad with Italian Sausage, Olives, and Basil Vinaigrette
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she had green beans and Italian sausage and decided to think outside the box.)
1 lb. fresh green beans (preferably thin French style beans)
4 links (12 oz.) turkey Italian Sausage (I used 5th Street Grill Italian Turkey Sausage from Costco.)
2 tsp. olive oil (more or less, depending on your pan)
1 can (6 oz. drained weight) black olives
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
3 T chopped fresh basil or frozen basil
1/2 cup purchased or homemade vinaigrette dressing
Start the water to cook the beans heating in a vegetable steamer (or you can use a metal colander inside a pot as long as the lid will fit.) While the water comes to a boil, trim both ends of the beans and then cut them in half crosswise to make pieces about 2-3 inches long. Prepare a bowl with water and ice cubes to put beans in when they're cooked, to stop the cooking process. (I used my salad spinner, so it was easy to drain the beans after.) As soon as the water is boiling enough to make steam, add beans to the pot and steam with the lid on about 8 minutes, or until beans are slightly tender-crisp. Then immediately remove beans from the steamer and add to the ice-water. Cool beans 1 minute, then remove the ice and drain the beans.
While the beans cook, cut the sausage in half lengthwise and then slice into half-moon slices. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick pan; add sausage and brown over medium-high heat, turning often, until the sausage is brown on all sides. Let sausage cool.
Put olives into a colander and drain until all the liquid has drained away. If you're using fresh basil, finely chop to make about 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil. Whisk together chopped basil (or thawed frozen basil) and vinaigrette dressing.
Combine the cooled sausage, beans, and olives in a bowl. Stir in enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve.
If you want to vary the recipe you could add other ingredients to this salad such a cooked mushrooms, crumbled Feta cheese, or roasted red pepper.
South Beach Suggestions:
As long as you use low-fat turkey Italian sausage, everything in this salad is a low-glycemic ingredient, suitable for all phases of the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Salads with Green Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Green Bean and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mint ~ Girl Cooks World
Green Bean, Tomato, and Feta Salad Oreganato ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mexican Green Bean Salad ~ Simply Recipes
Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Bean and Quinoa Salad ~ Everybody Likes Sandwiches
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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