Getting cute.


three green salad with green beans, peppers and green tomato in a red wine vinaigrette
Photography by Sam Armocido

I resist cute names for recipes.

Before you begin defending Death by Chocolate cake or Rainbow Ratatouille, let me say that I grew up eating Confetti Spaghetti from Molly Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (the name of both the cookbook and an arguably less successful, cutely-named recipe contained within). I loved every bite and hearing Mom answer “what’s for dinner tonight?” with “Confetti Spaghetti” made dinner just a little more magical. However…

Kristen Berset-Harris talks with me on WUSA9's Great Day Washington about farm and garden-fresh, no-cook dishes for hot summer days.
Kristen Berset-Harris talks with me on WUSA9’s Great Day Washington about farm and garden-fresh, no-cook dishes for hot summer days.

When I started developing and writing my own recipes I decided to eschew cute and clever names. After all, if you are flipping though a cookbook to decide whether it deserves more of your time or evaluating a new recipe on a card at your local farm market, you rarely want to commit time to go beyond the title for your cursory evaluation. Therefore, I decided, recipe titles should be descriptive, practical, efficient.

If you look through my cookbooks or grab a recipe card from me at your next market visit you will find that I generally stick to my guns on this. Recipes like sweet corn and tomato gazpacho or peaches and blueberries with Thai basil cream require little to no further reading. A large photo should answer most of your remaining questions. However…

This salad is such a perfect study in tone, an ombre of rich greens fading toward pale yellows flecked with the green herbs whisked into a sharp, complex, red wine vinaigrette. The resulting flavor is earthy, savory and just a little sweet with a delightful crunch. It makes a quick, fresh, summer meal – in my estimation – just a little more magical.

So, I take it back. You’re going to have to read the ingredients list to understand what Three Green Salad is. But it’s well worth it, because our lives should be a little more magical, every single day.

Three Green Salad

Serves 6-8

This earthy, bright, savory salad with just the right hint of sweetness from the banana peppers is both hearty and refreshing. The perfect summer salad served over quinoa or faro, or as a side for lightly charred chicken thighs, hot off the grill.

Ingredients:

ingredients for three green salad
Photography by Sam Armocido
  • 1 lb mixed beans – green, purple and yellow wax, stems snapped off
  • 2-3 Banana or Hungarian white peppers, seeded, de-ribbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 green, ripe tomato, like Green Zebra or Aunt Ruby’s German Green, cut in a 1/2″ dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs each chopped parsley, oregano and basil
  • 1 tsp dijón mustard
  • 2/3 cups olive oil – the good stuff!

Directions:

  • Cook beans in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes until crisp tender. Remove beans to a bowl of ice water. When cold, drain and dry. Cut into thirds.
  • Mix beans, peppers and tomato in a large bowl.
  • Make vinaigrette: sprinkle garlic with coarse salt and mash into a paste using the flat side of your knife. Whisk together garlic paste, vinegar, herbs and mustard in a small bowl. Season with pepper. While whisking vinegar mixture, drizzle in oil, to form a thick emulsion. Season to taste with extra mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Dress vegetables and serve.


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