Wednesday, September 21, 2011

[End of] Summer Green Bean Salad

Technically it's still summer for me, I don't have classes until Thursday. These past few weeks I've been trying to soak up all the summer I could down here in San Diego. Some foreign friends (Dave, Lavinia, and Felicity) flew over from England and we were able to catch up with them. I can't believe exactly one year ago I was abroad, getting used to English customs like weighing people in stones, drinking so much tea that it began to run through my veins and being confused when people asked where the bin was. [it's the garbage].
My roommate, Kevin, and I also have done a few projects in our new room. About a month ago we moved into a 1920's house about two blocks from Windansea beach. Rough life. We made a tree made out of twine and a light out of an old wicker birdcage.
I spent a good month at home in the Bay area with family and friends. I went to the farmer's market a lot with my dad and when I saw all the heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn, basil and green beans this dish came together in my head. Some friends came over that night and we ate the salad for dinner. Thanks to the amazing Christine Chia for taking these pictures. It's perfect side for a summer barbecue. I know that it's late to be posting about a summer salad but it's summer weather year round in San Diego. Because salads only have a few ingredients, it's important to get fresh, quality ingredients. Use what's in season and treat the ingredients with respect; prepare them simply to let their flavors shine through

The Ingredients
1.5 lbs green beans
2 lbs cherry tomatoes
5 ears of corn
3/4 cup feta
3/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
3 lemons
salt and pepper

The Method
Roast the hazelnuts in a small pan over medium heat to bring out the flavors. Cool and then roughly chop them.
Trim the stem ends off the green beans and bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Shuck the corn.
Blanch the beans for 1 min in the salted boiling water.
After 30 seconds have passed, blanch the corn for the remaining 20 seconds. Drain the beans and corn and set in a colander to drain.Hold the corn and then shave the kernels off. Use the back of the knife to scrape the ear to get all the sweetness.
Half the tomatoes with a sharp knife.
Create the dressing by juicing the lemons,
seasoning with salt and pepper and whisking in the olive oil.

Time to assemble. Toss the beans in the dressing, add the corn and tomatoes. Then sprinkle on the feta cheese, hazelnuts and tear the basil leaves before adding to salad.
Toss to coat and serve.
This salad is refreshing, light and so simple to make. It takes my favorite summer flavors and combines them all in one super-dish. Here's to this past summer! Now, bring on the fall flavors of pears, persimmons, and acorn squash. Oh, and it's almost red Starbucks cup season.

Recipe by Spencer Huey