This simple green bean tomato salad is one of my go-to summer side dish recipes. It’s quick and easy to make, is packed with fresh flavours and pairs well with grilled meat, fish, potatoes…you name it! Blanched green beans are tossed together with sweet juicy summer tomatoes, along with fresh basil, capers and a flavourful dressing. It’s so simple it almost doesn’t need a recipe. And it’s easy to adapt — I have a number of ways I like to prepare this simple green bean salad.
A highly versatile green bean and tomato salad
This green bean and tomato salad recipe is one that I have been making for years, in one form or another. Depending on what I have on hand, or where we are spending our summer vacation, I adapt this recipe ever so slightly. Sometimes I add thinly sliced red onion, other times I skip the capers and herbs, and sometimes I simply switch out the dressing for a red wine vinegar dressing with a little Dijon mustard. One thing if for sure, which ever version I am making, the combination of fresh green beans and vine-ripened tomatoes is a winner — every time!
How to choose green beans
Fresh, high quality ingredients is the key to making the most tasty green bean and tomato salad. The most important thing to look for when choosing beans at the market is that they have a bright, vibrant green colour and are firm. If you bend the bean pod, it should snap quickly and easily (versus being limp and bending like a rubber band).
How to blanch green beans
You will want to start by blanching the green beans. Blanching is when you add a vegetable to a pot of boiling, salted water, cook for a few minutes, and then transfer to an ice water bath (or run continuously under cold water) to stop the cooking process immediately. This ensures that the beans retain their colour and crisp-tender texture so they can hold up to the dressing.
Ideally, when blanching fresh green beans, they should be just cooked after 2-3 minutes (thicker beans may take longer), with young, early harvested beans such as “princess beans” in just a minute or two. And here I mean, cooked, but crisp-tender (al dente).
How to adapt this green bean tomato salad recipe
This salad recipe is so versatile that you can enjoy it again and again and each time a little differently. Here are a few ideas:
- Use a mix of different types and colours of tomatoes
- Play with the ratio of green beans to tomatoes
- Omit the capers or double up on flavor and add a handful of kalamata olives
- Add some sliced red onion (or pickled red onion)
- Trade out fresh basil for parsley
- Top with cubed feta or mini mozzarella balls
- Add a little crunch and flavor with toasted pine nuts
- Boil some new potatoes, then quarter them and add them to the salad
- Try a different dressing (e.g. like my French dressing made with red wine vinegar, Dijon, olive oil, garlic). You’ll love it!
More green bean recipes to enjoy!
Here’s a list of my favourite must-make green bean recipes:
- Asian Style Stir-Fried Green Beans
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Green Beans & Lemon-Mint Dressing
- Roasted Green Beans with Lemon and Dill
- Tahini Green Beans and Potatoes
- Roasted Corn and Potato Salad with Green Beans
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
For the salad:
- 350 g fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into bite-size pieces (300 g)
- 300 g mini-roma or cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
- 1 tablespoon capers (in brine), drained and coarsely chopped
- generous handful fresh basil leaves, slivered, plus more to garnish
- coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the dressing:
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 anchovies, finely chopped and mashed with a fork
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Small squeeze of freshly squeezed lemon juice, just a few drops
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until bright green and crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes (depending on size of the beans). Drain immediately and immerse in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When they are cool, drain and pat dry.
Transfer beans to a large serving bowl. Add tomatoes and capers. Toss to combine.
In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients (garlic, shallot, anchovies, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper).
Pour the dressing over the bean-tomato mixture and toss to combine. Add the basil and toss again to incorporate. Season with a little salt snd pepper, if desired. Garnish with more basil and serve. Enjoy!
- See tips above on how to adapt this recipe and make it your own.
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