Last weekend, we visited one of my favorite weekend spots in Seattle – the Ballard farmer’s market. Among the overflowing baskets of cherries and fresh peaches, I also stumbled across an impressive display of fresh beans.
I hadn’t planned on buying any produce, but something about those dark purple beans was too intriguing to pass up. I ended up filling a bag with the solid purple beans, as well as another variety that was purple and green speckled. I wish I could remember the names of these varieties!
Back at home, I had an idea for a green bean salad I had been wanting to make ever since I had tried something similar at a restaurant a few nights prior. The beans mysteriously turned from purple to green when they were cooked, but it sure didn’t affect the freshness or the flavor.
Green Bean and Mushroom Sesame Salad
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 2 lbs green beans (or purple beans!)
- 10 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium cucumber, sliced and halved
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other mild oil)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp amino acids (or soy sauce)
- 1/4 tsp stone ground mustard
- salt to taste
- sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Instructions: Whether your beans are purple, green, or blue – the cooking method is all the same.
Start by trimming off the woody ends and cutting the beans into bite sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl and rinse.
In a smaller bowl or jar, combine oils, vinegar, aminos (or soy sauce), and mustard.
Whisk or shake to combine into a dressing!
And sauté over medium high heat until softened and browned.
While the mushrooms cook, bring a large pot of water up to a boil and blanch beans for 3-5 minutes, just until tender.
When beans are beginning to soften, drain pot into a colander to cool. Remove mushrooms from cooking pan and add to beans to allow them to cool as well.
While beans and mushrooms are cooling, halve and slice your cucumber into thin moons. (De-seeding is optional!) Add cucumber to a large mixing bowl.
Combine beans, mushrooms, and cucumbers and pour dressing over the salad. Mix well to thoroughly combine, and allow flavors to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Add any additional salt to taste, and garnish with sesame seeds before serving.
Sesame is one of my all-time favorite flavors, and this salad has that perfect blend of Asian sweetness and tang that I love so much.
Serve along side some brown rice and crispy tofu for an Asian-inspired dinner, or enjoy the leftovers cold for lunch the next day. This is one of those salads that just gets better with time.