The summer days of January are drifting by, all the drama and rituals of Christmas are behind us and the tree is safely stowed away again until next year (thank you George for help with that one!!). We can sit back, relax a little, enjoy the photos and make plans for the new year. I love these new beginnings and clean slates, the opportunity they offer to make changes and challenges – this year 2018, I hope to set some new goals that will set the year apart and make it stand out – go to new places, meet new people and try new things – sounds good and I love the anticipation and savouring of ideas!
Maybe I will go and sit under a shady tree and think about it….one day.
In the mean time I decided that shady tree could wait, as I had heard about a Sunday Arrowtown farmers market which I was excited to visit. I found these beautiful green beans there, freshly picked and bundled, bursting with market fresh goodness. They inspired this salad.
SUMMER BEAN SALAD WITH TARRAGON
- Green beans to feed four people
- Punnet cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 3 tablespoons capers
- Handful of finely chopped fresh Tarragon (or use Tarragon mustard)
- Big teaspoon of Dijon, or your favourite mustard – tarragon mustard is a good alternative if you didn’t have fresh tarragon.
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of one lemon juice or 2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Optional extra – baby spinach to toss through your salad
Start by steaming or blanching your beans, and then cooling them quickly in some iced water. Then set them aside to drain. At this point all my beautiful purple beans turned green – funny how that happens with asparagus as well. I wonder if their nutrients are different because of the colour difference? If anyone out there has any wisdom on this subject I would be really interested to know.
Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and add to your cooled drained beans.
Add capers, half the tarragon and your chopped avocado.
Make your vinaigrette with the final five ingredients and the rest of your tarragon either simple by shaking in a jar or mixing in your blender or food processor. You want a nice sharp slightly over flavoured dressing to carry through the salad.
When you are ready to eat simply fold the dressing gently through your salad, or drizzle it over the top, and serve.
This salad tastes great straight away and even better after it has sat for a while – and may be – even better the next day. The compromise you make by leaving it dressed is that the beans will “cook” in the dressing and loose their bright green colour, but they will gain flavour from marinating, sort of win – win !
This fairly simple salad is a great way to add some tarragon into your meal and try some new flavour combinations. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.