Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Green Bean and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

Green Bean and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a PlateServes 4

Note: You can roast the cherry tomatoes ahead of time; roast then allow to cool and place in a glass container with cover and refrigerate until time to assemble the dish. Allow the tomatoes to come to room temperature before serving for optimum flavor.

Cherry tomatoes, as many as you like
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for dressing, see below)
1/4 cup nuts, toasted (pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews.)
1 pound fresh green beans, trim stem end, and cut crosswise into 2 1/2 inch segments
Few springs of fresh basil leaves (If not in season, omit)

Dressing ingredients:
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon agave syrup, OR honey
1/4 or a little more cup good olive oil

Position oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 225* (F) Line a shallow sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.

To roast the cherry tomatoes:Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and arrange them, cut sides up on the parchment- lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, drizzle with 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil. Place tomatoes in oven until slightly dried, wrinkled a bit, but still moist. This will take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours or so.

While tomatoes are roasting, prepare the nuts and the dressing:

Toast the nuts either in a small (dry, no oil) pan over medium-low heat, gently tossing the nuts in the pan frequently, until they just begin to turn light brown (or you can toast in oven.)

To make the dressing:
Combine the red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, agave syrup (or honey), and olive oil in a bowl or jar with tight fitting lid. Either whisk or shake vigorously until mixture is homogonized. Taste, then adjust for seasonings, add salt and pepper if desired.

To cook the beans:Prepare a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. Steam or boil the green beans until they just crisp-tender, and have not lost their bright color; only 3 to 4 minutes if boiled. Drain and place immediately into the ice water bowl. Swish the beans around and as soon as they are cooled remove to a collander to drain thoroughly.
To assemble:On a large platter or plate, arrange the green beans, sprinkle with the tomatoes (including any residual oil from roasting, drizzle with dressing, shower with the toasted nuts, then finally the fresh basil (if using.)
The flavors are brightest if this salad/side dish is served at room temperature.

Please click HERE to return to Once Upon a Plate.