Monday, 5 August 2013

Green Bean & Apricot Salad

Well, yes! It's green bean season again. One day we were watching the vines wondering why there were so few beans (hint: heatwave of two weeks ago - all the blossoms FELL OFF) and the next day, we are up to our eyeballs in them. Yeah, beans just keep calm and carry on, at least if they are the pole type they do.

Most of them went into the freezer but I also made this, since I found some lovely Niagara apricots - one of my favourite fruits. And the sweet onions are fattening up, and the basil is leafing out, so here we are. I would have liked almonds on this but what I had was sunflower seeds - perfectly fine.

I also prepared my onion before I did anything else, and set it in its own little dish with a generous sprinkling of salt, and let it sit while I did everything else. Then I rinsed it well and drained it well. I hate to say it, but even sweet onions and I no longer see eye-to-eye. If you think your digestion will be improved by this step, well, then I recommend that you follow it too.

Sprinkle a little feta cheese (or just extra nuts or seeds) on this, pass a roll or two and call it a complete meal for 4. Otherwise, it will serve 8 as a side salad.

4 to 8 servings
30 minutes prep time

Green Bean & Apricot Salad

Make the Dressing:
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
the juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black peppercorns
3 tablespoons sunflower seed oil (OR walnut oil OR hazelnut oil)

Grate the lemon zest and put it in a jam jar or small bowl. Add the lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and  oil, and shake or whisk until well blended.

Make the Salad:
500 grams (1 pound) green beans
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet white onion
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
12 to 16 fresh apricots
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds OR toasted sunflower seeds

Put a pot of water on to boil, sufficient to hold the beans. Wash, trim and cut the beans into bite-sized pieces. Peel and chop the onion, and put it in a mixing bowl. Wash and mince the basil and add it to the onion.

When the water boils, add the prepared beans and boil them for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Rinse them in cold water until completely cool, then drain them well. Add them to the salad bowl.

Wash the apricots, and cut them in halves to remove the pits. Cut each half into 3 or 4 slices and add them to the salad. Toss the salad with the dressing, then sprinkle over the nuts or sunflower seeds.

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