Wax Bean Salad

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I grew up on this salad.  It’s perfect for hot weather, cool crisp green beans with plenty of flavor.  It’s a Mollie Katzen recipe coming from her cookbook The Enchanted Broccoli Forrest.  I haven’t had it in years and the first bite brought me right back to eating it as a child.  I did modify the recipe to suit my needs but I left the seasoning ingredients the same.

I used wax beans instead of green beans since they were looking too good to pass up at the farmer’s market.  Josh isn’t a huge fan of green beans and their variations but he was sold on this salad.  The original recipe is called swiss green beans but I am not a fan of swiss cheese and chose to substitute a smoked cheddar instead.  The flavor was strong but not overpowering.  Ideally I would have like a smoked havarti or provolone, something a little softer, but my options were limited at the store.  The original recipe also calls for sliced red and green bell pepper but I chose to omit these and add in some julienned carrot instead.  And lastly I left out the toasted almonds, only because I wasn’t in the mood for their flavor.  They go great in this salad though so don’t hesitate to add them in.

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Wax Bean Salad (modified from Mollie Katzen’s Swiss Green Beans)

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh whole wax beans
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more, to taste)
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 lb smoked cheddar cheese, in thin strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe olives
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  1. Clean, trim, and chop the wax beans.  Steam until just tender.  Remove from heat, and immediately rinse under cold running water.  Drain well.
  2. Combine everything in a large bowl.
  3. Add the drained beans to the bowl.  Toss until everything is well distributed.  Cover tightly and let marinate refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours.  Overnight is best.

** Mollie Katzen recommends leaving out the lemon juice and vinegar while the beans marinate, stirring them in within about 10 minutes of serving.  This is so the green beans can retain their color as the acid causes fading.  I chose not to worry about this.

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