Summer Slackers Unite! (And Eat Salad.)

I’m a slacker.

Hey, it’s summer. You know? The lazy days of…? So, I’ve been lazy. Oh, I’ve been cooking- but being careful to measure, write down the recipes, take photos and blog? Nope. Not so much.  We have been leisurely eating dinner late, usually after sitting on the patio as the day winds down.  We’ve been eating well and I’m going to get back into the swing. Really I am.

I love summer and all it offers. Bountiful fresh fruit and vegetables, grilling, picnics and al fresco dining, salads of every kind.  Combine all of that then give me a cool drink and a hammock – bliss.

This salad uses both fresh yellow wax beans and green beans. It is light and goes alongside your choice of a grilled entrée or would be a welcome addition to any potluck table. Especially among a sea of white, gloppy creations, your fellow picnickers will thank you.

Yellow & Green Bean Salad with Two-Mustard Dressing

Serves 8

1 lb. fresh yellow wax beans, ends snapped off and strings removed

1 lb. fresh green beans, ends snapped off and strings removed

8 oz. grape tomatoes, halved

1 lg. shallot, cut in half & sliced thinly lengthwise (julienned)

*1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted (optional – see note)

Dressing:

1 tsp. whole-grain mustard

1 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

freshly ground black pepper

Place a large pot of water on stove to boil.  Meanwhile, wash beans in colander. Once water is boiling, add about 1/2 Tbsp. of salt. Add beans and set colander aside. Boil in water until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain beans and run  very cold water over them, until they are completely cool. Let drain for several minutes, then pat dry with paper towels. Add to a large bowl, along with shallot, tomatoes and pine nuts, if using.

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients, mustards through the vinegar. Add salt & pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

*Note – to toast nuts, place in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and slightly golden. If serving salad several hours later, keep pine nuts out until ready to serve; toss to combine.

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