When we say 'green bean' we could be referring to a large number of the 130 plus varieties, that differ in taste and the colour and size of their pod- and they're not always green! Most fall into two categories, stringless and runner; stringless are also known as 'snap beans' and are generally what one would find in the produce aisle, while runner beans are grown more often for the purpose of drying. Today we're talking about the stringless snap version. These fresh beans are actually the immature fruit and pod of various cultivars of common beans. They're a great nutritious addition to your summer haul.
Busy, hot summer weeknight evenings call for delicious and simple meals, bonus points if they can be made ahead and carted outside for al fresco picnics in the breeze. Enter pasta salad. But this isn't the mayonnaise drenched pasta salad of old- this is a fresh new pasta salad loaded with lightly crunchy green beans and veg, tossed in a zippy dressing and laden with herbs. I like using a bean-based pasta like red lentil penne, or a nutty wholemeal or rye option, but you can use whatever you keep on hand. That's the other great thing about a good pasta salad, it's so very versatile. I've used green beans, broccoli, radish leaves, carrot tops, and spring onions. You could easily add in or substitute any other vegetable with good crunch. It's simple to double the recipe for tomorrow's lunch, and keeps really well, too.
1 bag Green Beans
1 head of Broccoli
1 bunch Radish Leaves
4 Spring Onions
2-3 handfuls Carrot Tops
1/2-1 cup combination of fresh herbs, Coriander, Tarragon, Parsley, et cetera
6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Wholegrain or Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons Honey or Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Couple pinches of Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Peppercorn, to taste
Optional: Toasted nuts or seeds and feta or parmesan
The How To:
Combine oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice, ACV, sea salt, and peppercorn for the dressing.
Cook the pasta according to the time specified, in a pot of salted boiling water.
Cut broccoli into small florets and green beans in halves. Steam until bright green and lightly tender, but still retaining a nice crunch, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Finely chop radish leaves, carrots tops, and all your chosen herbs. Dice spring onions.
Toss warm pasta with cooked and raw vegetables, drowning the whole lot in the tangy dressing.
Top with any seeds, nuts or cheese. Enjoy now or later, but just enjoy.
-This Mustard Maple Dressing is so good, make extra and drizzle over salads or grain bowls. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for a week.