Part of summer memories includes snapping green beans with my sister. My father would bring them home by the bushel or half bushel, and we would sit down on sheet with the beans piled in the middle and begin snapping. Mom canned many of them, and some went straight into a pot with a ham bone. I still love green beans cooked that old-fashioned way, but I also love them crisp tender in a salad.
In this salad, I combined my favorite Thai flavors in a vinaigrette and tossed it with green beans, mango, red bell pepper, and cilantro. It’s such a refreshing combination and tastes like a big mouthful of summer. Even my two older boys who aren’t green bean fans ate this and asked for seconds. Except for Monkey Boy, who may never come around on green beans. But we’ll keep trying with him!
Make sure the green beans are cooked just right. Overcook and they will be a mushy mess; undercook and you’ll be chewing for a while. They should be tender with just a bit of crunch.
GREEN BEAN AND MANGO SALAD WITH THAI-STYLE VINAIGRETTE
Adapted from Wegman’s.
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
large pot with lid
1 small jar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon palm sugar, or light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Thai hot chili sauce
1 pound (454 g) French green beans, trimmed
1 medium mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1. VINAIGRETTE – In the small jar, shake the fish sauce, lime juice, olive oil, palm sugar, sea salt, garlic, lemongrass, and hot chili sauce. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes.
2. SALAD – Cover the beans in water in the large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook beans until crisp tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to an ice bath in a medium bowl. Allow beans to cool, then drain. Add the sliced mango, bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro leaves. Toss with the vinaigrette and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.