Gay Cookby Gay Cook

Garnish with pansies cherry tomatoes if available

4-6 servings

Local green and yellow beans are now at their peak in flavour . Blanch 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. My cherry tomatoes were ripe so I used them for the garnish.

  • 1/2 lb (250g) fresh yellow beans
  • 1/2 lb (250g) fresh green beans
  • 1/2 sweet Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded, cut into quarters (optional)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tbsp (75 ml) olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 – 15 fresh basil leaves and or fresh tarragon leaves, torn into half
  • 8 – 10 nasturtium, pansies or halved cherry tomatoes, free of pesticides


  1. Wash beans; snap off stem end leaving on the tail. The beans can be left whole or cut on the slant into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths.
  2. Blanch green beans in boiling in water on high heat for 2 minutes. Drain and drop them into ice water to set the colour. Yellow beans take a little longer to cool, so cook them 3 minutes . Beans should be almost tender when blanched; drain immediately and plunge beans in ice water to set the colour. Drain. Toss beans together with onion slices.
  3. Thinly slice the pepper quarters and toss with the beans and onion slices.
  4. Make dressing in a small bowl; combine mustard, garlic, vinegar, oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Tear or cut herbs in half.
  5. Just before serving, toss vegetables with herbs and dressing in the salad bowl and garnish with flowers or cherry tomatoes.