Fresh and crisp
Fresh green bean salad makes me think of spring – even though it’s terrific any day of the year. Perhaps it’s the bright, contrasting colors or the feel of tender, crisp green beans. Singing food. Because you are using only 4 salad ingredients and 3 for the dressing, green bean salad come together in a snap.
It drives me crazy when I end up throwing out the leafy greens that I purposely bought to create the ultimate salad and then failed to deliver. I usually discover it at the bottom of the crisper, no longer so crisp. Maddening! This is one reason why I so often turn to salads with ingredients that keep for a few days (or longer).
The only cooking you’ll need to do for this easy recipe is steam a few green beans. Because you need to cool them a bit anyway, you can easily do this a day before. This makes throwing together a creative side a 5-minute job. This is also a great use for any leftover green beans you might have had the night before. Even if you served them up with some garlic and lemon juice, mix it up.
There is a balance of sweet and sour for this easy dressing. I choose white Balsamic because it’s bit sweeter and I wanted a clear, light dressing. The juice of a lemon will deliver the sour and we’ll get just a bit more sweetness from Agave syrup.
A quick Agave word
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics released a report regarding the total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar described the health benefits of various sweeteners. They compared the following popular sweeteners: agave nectar, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, date sugar, honey, light brown sugar, maple syrup, raw cane sugar, regular white sugar and turbinado sugar. Only whole date sugar (dates pulverized into sugar) was found to have significant healthy benefits. Not surprising that the whole food product would win out.
Best, quick choice
That said, it’s difficult to get hold of whole date sugar (not to mention expensive) and because this is a simple, quick salad that requires no special shopping, we are going to rely on plant-based agave syrup here. If you choose to use whole date sugar, you’ll get a bit more thickening for your salad, so it’s definitely something to consider. In general, I use either agave syrup or maple syrup as go-to sweeteners preferences because you only need a little to sweeten things up.
Fresh doesn’t mind waiting
The cucumber and tomatoes in your green bean salad will happily absorb the dressing, so allowing your salad to sit for a bit (or even overnight) can enhance the taste. That’s not to say, it isn’t great if you serve it up immediately. But hey, this is another incentive to eat the leftovers the next day.
Side to meal ideas
Take your fresh green bean salad from side to meal by adding beans or a grain. We’ve discovered that red kidney beans are particularly good here. Quinoa, as I used with pear and quinoa salad or cranberry quinoa salad is equally as good. Quinoa will also like those fresh dressing flavors.
It’s so annoying to throw food away and let’s face it, fresh rules. I’ve learned that one of the keys to meal planning is considering the fresh life of the ingredients you purchase. It’s also important to think about creative ways to enjoy leftovers or take a side into a portable lunch the next day. This makes buying foods on offer all the better. Plan first, action, with plan B firmly in place. Peace.Print
Fresh green bean salad recipe – green beans, onion, cucumber, tomatoes. 10-minute, healthy salad with white balsamic, lemon juice and agave dressing.
- 1 lb. fresh green beans (trimmed and cut into bit-sized pieces)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half (or quarters)
- 1 cucumber, deseeded and sliced into half moons
- 1 red onion cut in half and then sliced into half moons
- ¼ cup white Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Agave syrup
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- Ground black pepper (optional)
- Place the green beans in a steamer basket and steam for about 3 minutes. You want to ensure that they are still crispy to the bite.
- Allow the beans to cool a bit while you prepare the cucumber (1), tomatoes (2 cups) and red onion.
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup white Balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. Agave and the juice of lemon.
- Mix the beans, cucumber slices, tomatoes and red onion in a bowl. Pour the dressing in and mix well.
- If you find red onions a bit too strong, consider substituting thinly sliced scallions.
- No Agave syrup? Maple syrup or brown rice syrup are great substitutes (use the same amounts).
- We liked adding red kidney beans, but a can of any white beans or chickpeas would be great. If you don’t want quinoa, bulgur would be a great option to elevate your simple green bean salad to meal.
- Category: Salads & Bowls
- Method: Chop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Fresh green bean salad