|Cold Green Bean Salad - fresh green beans, blanched then shocked in cold water to retain crispness, dressed with a seasoned vinaigrette and finished with sliced cherry tomatoes.|
Cold Green Bean SaladI have a confession to make. I have been cheating on y'all!
Well, not like that... but, when it comes to posting new stuff, things were a bit slow last month. Although I have written quite a few new recipes lately (that I've yet to write up, including this one), I have primarily been using my usual, regular, repeat recipes that y'all have also already been using for years too now. I've also been using my Traeger grill and my pressure cooker quite a bit too.
I purchased my Traeger early last summer and ever since, my poor propane and charcoal grills aren't getting much time. I know some hard core smokers don't consider pellet grills to be "serious" smoke cooking, but I'm a home cook and not a competitor, and I absolutely love this thing (you were right Smokin' Don!).
Still, it's not an inexpensive purchase, so I eyed it for a very long time before I finally took the plunge, but I'm so glad that I did. I've since baked on it, (and believe me, that comes in super handy during these hot and humid, Deep South summers), and of course, I've grilled and smoked on it too. I have been happy with every single thing I've done. Timing has been an experiment on some things, but that's what digital thermometers are for, right?!
I really love that you literally put the food down and because it's all indirect convection cooking, and has an electric pellet feeder that adds the wood pellets on demand to maintain the temperature, you literally don't have to do a thing, or stand over it in the summer heat. There is no worrying about your food at all. The Traeger came with a nice, basic cookbook, but I also purchased a pellet cooker cookbook that has really been handy, both for new recipes to try and for adapting my own recipes.
The pressure cooker, well, the electronic pressure cooker, which not unlike smoke cooking, users of "real" pressure cookers pretty much discount as, well, real pressure cooking, has been in regular use too. Having been the witness to an explosion to the ceiling of a stovetop pressure cooker in my own Mama's kitchen as a child, after which she pitched the pressure cooker in the trash, well... I feel much safer with these newer versions, but I'm not gonna get up in the middle of that argument anyway!
For the record, anytime I talk about pressure cookers on the blog, I'm talking about electronic pressure cookers and not the stovetop versions. I did recently purchase the 4-quart model pictured above from QVC. It fits nicely on the counter and, consequently, just as The Blue Jean Chef said her mother told her, because it's out all the time, I have used it more often than the other two larger ones combined!
I am loving using the pressure cooker (even more than a slow cooker) for things like tougher meats and roasts that normally would have to stew for hours, and it's an excellent way to start dried beans, make stocks and soups, cooking wild, brown and white rice, corn on the cob and even boiled eggs, yes - boiled eggs! Other than that, I have been experimenting with some of my own recipes, but primarily look to Meredith's cookbooks, as well as Bob Warden's cookbooks, for guidance, so nothing I've written myself that I can really publish and share just yet.
So... that's how I've been cheating. Appliance shortcuts and old reliable standby recipes we already love.
But, now it's June, the kids are out of school and spending some of their time in summer camps and activities, and with other relatives as well as with us, my own cookbook promotion for Deep South Dish Homestyle Southern Recipes, though still holding steady (thank you SO much), has wound down some, and I'm trying to keep my commitments to a bare minimum, in order to focus on writing and publishing a little more often. That's my plan and I'm (hopefully) sticking to it!!
Well, summer has unofficially arrived in the midst of all this, it's officially hurricane season and shrimp season opens as of today, and it's already hotter than hot, so here is a yummy veggie salad that I enjoy making in the summer, when fresh green beans are plentiful and hopefully in your own backyard!
Nancy, one of our Facebook family members, mentioned she has already pulled and put up 75 pounds of them and it's only just June 1st! That is some serious gardening y'all. I have nowhere near any of that going on with my little backyard garden, but no worries. They can be found at your local supermarket in abundance in the summer. By the way, folks seem to gravitate to this salad, so it's a great potluck recipe too! As always scroll further down for full the full recipe text, including measurements, instructions and a printable document to take to the kitchen. Here's how to make it.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients; heat to dissolve sugar, set aside to cool. Trim and blanch green beans by boiling for 2 minutes, then plunge into a bowl of ice water.
Mix together the green beans with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the tomatoes.
Toss with dressing, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Before serving, bring to room temperature, add tomatoes and stir to coat, or may also serve without the tomatoes.
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Recipe: Cold Green Bean Salad©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 2 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
For the Dressing:
For the Salad:
- 1 cup light olive oil or salad oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower, safflower)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons Creole mustard
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound green beans
- 1 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup minced celery
- 1/4 cup chopped red pepper or pimentos
- 1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, optional
- 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
Whisk together the dressing ingredients; heat to dissolve sugar, set aside to cool. Trim and blanch green beans by boiling for 2 minutes, then plunge into a bowl of ice water. Mix together the green beans with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the tomatoes. Toss with dressing, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Before serving, bring to room temperature, add tomatoes and stir to coat before serving, or may also serve without the tomatoes.
Cold Green Bean and Potato Salad: Toss in one pound of cooked tiny new potatoes or small red potatoes cut into bite-sized chunks.
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