Green beans, cherry tomatoes & home-made pesto salad

16 Oct

In France, we usually have our green beans as a side for roast beef, chicken or fish… just to compensate the great amount of potatoes or rice that we also as a side or just as a mark of respect for the mums’ diet that they always put aside when it comes to cheese, desert and wine…..

As a result, we often have lots of green beans leftover when rice or potatoes dishes are spotless… and the use is to make a green beans salad as a starter the day after!

I have to say that it is a shame to do that because the green beans become soft and dark and they get mushy with the vinaigrette dressing and even if it is still a good starter, we can try to make it taste even better by cooking them from the beginning as a component of a salad.

Also, I wanted to propose an alternative to vinaigrette and shallots dressing with that pesto dressing.

Hope you will like it!

For those who like the traditions…. I’ll try to update the recipe with the French dressing with shallots soon!

Ingredients for the pesto

  • a garlic clove
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts
  • 70g of grated Parmesan
  • a generous bunch of basil washed
  • olive oil
  • ground pepper

Ingredients for the salad

  • 500g of fresh green beans trimmed
  • 250g of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 romaine lettuce

Method for the Pesto*

In a food processor, process the pine nuts, Parmesan and garlic. Add the bunch of basil roughly shredded (leaves and stalks). Process gently and add some olive oil to bring it into a paste. Depending on the consistency you wish to have, add more olive oil to obtain a smooth pesto.

Taste the pesto and depending on your taste, add more cheese, basil or pinenuts. I don’t add any salt in mine as the Parmesan is already very salty.

If you make a large quantity of Pesto, you can keep it in a jar in a fridge. You just have to cover its surface with olive oil. To my opinion, it’s better to keep your pesto not too liquid as you just need to take what’s needed and get it to the right consistency by adding a little olive oil.

*Once you are used to make your own pesto, you can have fun and use rocket or coriander instead of basil, hazelnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts, you can also make it with sun-dried tomatoes…

Method for the salad

Cut the beans into 2 in order to make them easy to eat as it is a salad.

Bring to a boil a large pan of salted water and cook the beans for about 4 to 5 minutes. They become soft but keep a little crunch when you bite them.

Once they are cooked, drain them in a colander under cold water to stop them from cooking further. It also helps them to keep their nice green color instead of getting a bit dark brown and soft.

Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes into 2 or quarters if they are bigger than expected.

Cut the romaine lettuce into 1/2 cm stripes and wash them in a colander.

Assemble all the ingredients in a salad bowl and toss them generously with the pesto. All the components have to be coated with the pesto.

Your salad is ready! Enjoy….

If you want to make it look more sophisticated, you can also add some roasted pine nuts as well as shaved Parmesan.


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