Gay Cook’s Garden Green and Yellow Bean Salad with Basil Dressing and garnished with nasturtiums or pansies

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Makes 4-6 servings

Local green and yellow beans are at their peak in flavour in the summer. Cook the green and yellow beans separately as yellow beans take a little longer to cook than green ones. The beans can be left whole or cut on the slant. The fresh flowers adds delightful colour to the salad.

1/2 lb (450 g) fresh yellow beans
1/2 lb (225 g) fresh green beans
1/2 sweet Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 large sweet red pepper, seeded, cut into quarters (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons wine or balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons (75 mL) olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
10 – 15 fresh basil leaves and or fresh oregano leaves, torn into small
8 – 10 nasturtium and pansies, free of pesticides

  1. Wash beans and snap off stem end leaving on the tail. The beans can be left whole, or cut beans on the slant into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths.
  2. Blanch the beans in boiling water on high heat for 2 minutes for green beans and 3 minutes for yellow beans. Beans should be almost tender when cooked; drain immediately and plunge beans in ice water to set the colour. Drain. Toss together the beans and onion slices.
  3. Thinly slice the pepper quarters and toss with the beans and onion slices.
  4. To make dressing, in a small bowl, combine mustard, garlic, vinegar, oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Tear herbs in half.
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