It’s summer! Alert the media! Time for Bar BQs on the back deck, picnics in the park, and surfing in Malibu. Well, maybe not surfing (not everyone looks that great in a wet suit), but splashing in the pool works. It’s also when some people prefer a salad rather than stew for supper.
Note, I say some people. I’ll take a good beefy stew over a salad even if the temperature’s 100. In fact, I never really made a salad (tuna salad notwithstanding) until I was forty. It was such an unusual occurrence that my husband took a picture of it for posterity. I know. I know. I’m digressing – something I often do.
But, really… what can I say about a salad? A salad’s only a salad after all, right? Something to have after appetizers but before dinner (unless you’re in Europe, then it’s often after dinner, but I’m digressing again…) and, something I don’t usually pay much attention to.
Lately, however, I’ve found myself writing more about salads than stews.
Chopped salads with salami, ham and cheese, Cobb salads with turkey, bacon, and cheese, Caesar salads with chicken or shrimp and cheese… salads with protein!!!
Well – the salad my husband made for us the other night is definitely a salad, salad (translation NO meat, NO cheese), but coupled with fresh crusty country bread and a chilled glass of rose it was also a delicious summer supper. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not a salad convert. But I’m wavering.
Warm Pear & Green Bean Salad
Courtesy of Country Living Magazine
Vegetable oil cooking spray
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
4 pears, cored and cut into eighths
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
(Richard used toasted sliced almonds)
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roast green beans and pears. Lightly coat 2 roasting pans w/ cooking spray and set aside. Richard used cookie sheets covered in tin foil in place of the roasting pans.
In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss green beans well w/ this mixture and place in/on a roasting pan/cookie sheet.
In the same large bowl, whisk the remaining oil, salt and pepper and toss the pears. Sprinkle pears w/ sugar and place in/on a roasting pan/cookie sheet.
Place both pans/sheets in oven. After 30 minutes remove green beans. Roast pears 15 more minutes and remove from the oven.
Note from my husband: Watch the pears carefully. In our oven the pears were more than done at the same time as the green beans.
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Stir in salt and pepper. Toss the green beans and pears w/ dressing in a big bowl, then serve.
Makes 8 servings. Since there were just four of us, Richard simply halved all the ingredients.