'Hottest Day of the Year Salad' (Recipe!)
A heat-wave has hit the Twin Cities, and today we're set to hit the high 90s. Personally, I love it! This recipe (aka Spicy Raw Green Bean Salad) is perfect for hot weather. Since it's raw, there is no actual cooking that involves heat; just a bit of prep and mixing up of ingredients for the dressing. But it's so delicious, I'd eat it any day of the year: Serve it as a side or on a bed of brown rice (make sure to pour a little bit of the dressing from the bottom of the bowl to make the rice more delicious) for a heartier meal. Additionally, as with the Ayurvedic tradition, the spicy heat in this salad might get you sweating, which will in turn cool you off. A truly perfect dish to bring for a picnic or as part of an evening meal on the patio.
What's more, I bet you can get a pound of green and yellow wax beans right now from your local farmer's market for just a few bucks, which is exactly how much I paid for the beans used to create this recipe. Fresh, local, organic ingredients: the building blocks of good, healthy food. I hope you enjoy!
Spicy Raw Green Bean Salad
Gluten free, dairy free, grain free, raw
1# green and yellow wax beans (or just green is fine)
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. rice vinegar + 1 T. lime juice (or 2 T. of one or the other if you don't have both)
1 T. maple syrup
1 T. garlic chili paste (Sambal Oelek, only the one that has garlic: the product is red and in a clear plastic jar with a green top; available at co-ops or Asian grocery store)
1 T. tamari
3 large cloves garlic
1/2" peeled ginger
1 small shallot
Handful of cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, chopped (use the whites and part of the greens)
1 T. toasted white sesame seeds (add some black if you want to get extra fancy)
Kosher salt, to taste
Wash the green and yellow wax beans and pick of the stems. Dry beans well, so that the dressing will adhere. Mix the first five dressing ingredients in a small bowl. If you have a food processor, whiz up the garlic, ginger, and shallot altogether until finely chopped/minced. If not, chop finely and add to the wet dressing ingredients. Add the cilantro, scallions, and sesame seeds, saving some of each out to garnish your salad when you serve it (#thinklikeachef). Toss the green and yellow wax beans with the dressing, and add salt to taste (in this recipe the source of sodium is the rather small amount of tamari - I generally use the low-sodium version- so I did add a big pinch of salt to taste.). You can adjust pretty much all of the ingredients here to your tastes. For example, want to up the heat? Add 1 t. (or more) more chili garlic sauce. Like tang? Add another squeeze of lime juice. Love cilantro like I do? Add more, and enjoy!