Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summertime Staple

Growing up, a summertime staple for dinner was green bean salad. I can still see my grandmother sitting on her front porch, snapping the ends off the beans. My grandmother dressed her beans with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, and dried Italian seasoning. My mother makes them this way, too, and tasting them is like tasting my youth.

After I was married I had subscribed to Cooking Light magazine in an effort to cook healthy and branch from the five meals I knew how to make. When I saw this recipe for green beans I knew I would have to give it a try, not because I don't love the way my grandmother made them, but because, sometimes, you just gotta mix it up a bit. Particularly when your dad has a garden and it's green beans, green beans, and more green beans!

Green Bean Salad with Pancetta
Recipe from Cooking Light

  • 2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
  • 3 sliced pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Cook green beans in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, shock in ice water, and drain again. Place in large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl combine honey, mustard, pepper, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cook pancetta in skillet until crisp. Remove the pancetta from the pan and drain on dish covered with a paper towel.
  4. Add shallots to the pan and cook in the pancetta drippings, stirring frequently.
  5. Add vinegar, scraping the pan to loosen the brown bits.
  6. Add contents of pan to the honey mustard mixture. Mix well, then pour over beans and toss to coat.

Note: This dressing is equally delicious over potatoes. Cook red or yukon gold potatoes for a warm potato salad. Yum!

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