My guideline for an easy summer dinner looks something like this: grilled meat + grilled bread + seasonal side = a meal the whole family can agree on. Instead of carb-loading on potatoes or pasta salad, we add some sliced baguettes to the grill and toast the pieces while we're cooking whatever protein is on the menu that night. Then, we fill the plates with heaps of seasonal veggies and call it a dinner that almost everyone agrees on.
Green beans make it on to our table more than any other vegetable. I purchase them in hefty bundles, estimating we probably eat one to two pounds per meal, and I usually serve them steamed, boiled, or roasted, with a light blanket of butter. But these days they're hitting the grill along with everything else and being tossed into one of the tastiest salad I've eaten this year.
While I like to serve it warm, it works just as well when cold or at room temperature. Feel free to make it a few hours in advance of serving, cover and leave on the counter until needed. Perfect for weekend entertaining, don't you think?
Grilled Green Bean Salad
For the dressing:
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- zest 1 lemon
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
For the beans:
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
To make the dressing, combine the shallots and vinegar and let sit for 2 minutes. Gradually add in the oil, whisking to combine. Stir in the basil, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese and set aside.
Place the beans in a large bowl and drizzle with a hearty glug of olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Prepare the grill for high heat. Place the beans in a metal grilling basket and grill for 5 minutes, turning frequently, until beans are tender and slightly charred in spots.
Remove the beans from the grill and place in serving bowl. Add enough salad dressing to the beans to coat and toss well. Check the seasonings and add a little more salt, if needed. Top with extra cheese and serve warm.
- If you don’t have a grill you can roast the beans in the oven or cook them in a frying pan to achieve a similar result.
- Feel free to play around with the recipe by including additional ingredients like roasted cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese in place of the Parmesan, pine nuts, pecans, pesto in place of the vinaigrette, etc. The possibilities are endless and you can have a lot of fun coming up with different flavour combinations for your salad.