Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cold Romano Bean Salad – There are Different Kinds of Vibrant

When I was a young boy, many summer lunches were spent at my grandparent's table, and that's where I first learned to enjoy fresh vegetables. Like every Italian family in town, they had a backyard garden, which meant an abundance of zucchini, tomatoes, and beans. This cold Romano bean salad was a staple during those hot summer months, and is still one of my favorite summer side dishes.

So, there are two ways you can do this recipe. You can boil your beans, dress them and serve immediately. This technique provides you with a nice vibrant salad, but the beans are simply coated with the dressing, as opposed to being marinated in it.

I prefer it dressed and left to marinate in the fridge overnight, which gives you something closer to a pickled bean. This style creates a sharper, colder, more herbaceous salad that is ideal for the rich, fatty, smoky meats of summer. The tradeoff is in appearance, with the beans giving up the green color for a more vibrant flavor.

If you grow beans, or have a neighbor who does, you should have the ways and means to give this dish a try. Enjoy!

1 pound green beans
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 or 3 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
fresh sliced mint to top

View the complete recipe


Sarah said...

Great recipe! Round beans are in season at the moment so I've been looking for nice ways to serve them - this looks brilliant.

M said...

What would you recommend as a good main dish to go along with this as a side?

Monica said...

As a girl I spent a summer as an exchange student in France. The family cooked beans for lunch then served leftovers cold for dinner. Yummy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chef John. I'm always looking for a new cool way to serve a vegetable!

Now that I have your attention, I have a totally unrelated question. Maybe someone can answer this for me.

What is the deal with Red Velvet cake? How does a bottle of red food coloring make a cake taste better? Or any different than chocolate cake. Please someone explain what I'm missing here.

PattyinCT said...

Do you have to use green beans Chef? Or can you use other beans.

I got purple beans and these white and purple speckled beans from my CSA this week. Would either of these work?

Chef John said...

any fresh bean you can bite raw will work. If the pod is tough then those are shelling beans and wont work.

Chef John said...

Not sure what the deal is with Red Velvet cake! Seems odd to me also.

Chef John said...

M, this is great with any grilled meats!

Anonymous said...

That looks fantastic! I'm putting this on my list of must-tries.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out which pointy things we can eat.

Paul D said...

La Cucina Povera...The Poor Kitchen. Ironically, NPR had a show on today about the new weight epidemic in Italy resulting from a generation now hooked on junk/fast food.

Ironically, fresh ingredients and simple cooking which make the Mediterranean diet one of the healthiest in the world is now understood primarily by tradionalists and health experts.

Thanks for the great recipe. Sorry if this sounded preachy but the life expectancy of this generation is going to be lower. The junk, red meat fest and "man show" mentality need to go.

Great recipe chef - I will be sure to make it this weekend.

zingor said...

Great looking recipe. I just bought some pole beans and this will do nicely.

As for red velvet cake question, the original cake had no food coloring at all in it. It's a chemical reaction between the non-dutched cocoa powder, the vinegar and buttermilk that produced the red color. However, the original cake was also a very light chocolate, not like a devil's food chocolate. As people started to add more cocoa to make it more chocolatey, they had to add red food coloring to maintain the color of the cake.

Rita said...

as i always say, "looks can be deceiving."

Anonymous said...

Zingor, thanks for the great explanation! Makes sense to me and now I can be an authority at dinner parties. :-)
However, I think I'll stick to deep, rich chocolaty brown.
Thanks again. I've been asking many folks about this and your the only one who came up with an answer.

Chris K. said...

Timely post, Chef! We just got a bunch of beans from our CSA this week. I'll definitely be trying this recipe. Thanks!!!

Pam said...

I purchased some Romano beans at the FM after watching this video, and promptly made the recipe to accompany grilled salmon burgers & corn on the cob. What an exceptional summer meal it was! First time I ate this type of bean, and now I'm hooked. Thanks, Chef John!

Sepi said...

Made this and it was great. I'd never had a romano bean before. You've introduced to a few things I use to walk by without noticing (padron peppers, cranberry beans.

@zingor That is really interesting about the red velvet cake.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Tried this tonight for my wife who has been eating this kind of bean since she was a little bean sprout herself. The mint elevates this to a whole new level - Amazing! Knocked her socks off!

This will be a staple in our kitchen for any kind of fresh, beautiful bean that we encounter.