Saturday, June 26, 2010

Green Bean Salad with Charred Onions

Every summer, my Mom plants green beans and we eat them like crazy all through the month of June. Last week was the third picking and we were looking for a new way to serve them up. I decided to get out Mario Batali's new book, Molto Gusto, and quickly found a great recipe for a green bean salad that can be served either warm or at room temperature.

Mario's green bean salad begins with blanching the green beans and then adding them to a dry skillet with charred onions. Once the beans and the charred onions are mixed, they are dressed with a dressing made from balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Mario says the salad is best served if the beans are allowed to stand in the dressing for at least 10 minutes and I definitely agree. This green beans grew even more flavorful as they were allowed to soak up some of the tangy, orange-flavored dressing.

Green Beans with Charred Onions
Adapted from Mario Batali's Molto Gusto
Serves 6
Kosher salt
1 pound young green beans or haricots verts
2 medium sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Add the beans and blanch until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool under running water; drain well.

Halve the onions lengthwise and trim off the ends. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide slices. Heat a dry 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the onions and saute until charred in spots but still crunchy, 4-6 minutes. During the last minute or so, add the beans, stirring and tossing to warm them through. Transfer the beans and onions to a large bowl.

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and oil together in a small bowl. Pour over the beans and onions, tossing to coat. Let stand for at least 10 minutes, or up to 1 hour, before serving.

Sprinkle the beans with Maldon salt and serve.

This is my submission to Souper Sundays. A weekly roundup of soups, salads and sandwiches. Click HERE to view today's roundup!

This is also my submission to Reeni's monthly Side Dish Showdown.


  1. Ooh, I just love green beans. I think they are my favorite veggie. What a wonderful way to fix 'em up!

  2. This looks great! We're big green bean eaters and I'm always looking out for new ways to fix 'em. Never would have thought to turn to Mario Batali for green bean ideas!

    Seems like this would be a good pot luck dish...since the green beans can sit and improve by doing so. What do you think?

  3. We get overrun with green beans from our garden too! I like this preparation of them with the orange juice. I bet it gives them nice flavor. Thanks for sending it to the Showdown!

  4. I JUST got this cookbook and have been trying to decide what to cook from it first! And darn it I just had some green beans that I had to use up, but went with a pasta salad instead. Sigh. Always room for another bunch in my fridge! Looks fantastic.

  5. This salad looks delicious--love the charred onions and the orange in the dressing too--great flavors. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  6. Oh I love fresh green beans! I haven't had them in so long! I should really get some next week.

  7. Molto Gusto! I just started reading the book HEAT and the first few chapters are, so far, devoted to Mario. Fabulous food - you picked a good recipe here sister!

  8. I'm always on the look out for great veggie dishes. Thanks.

  9. This is almost exactly the same way my grandmother used to make the beans for family gatherings. Of course as a child, I hated them but now after seeing yours, I am craving some. Maybe I can convince my grandmother to help me make some.
    You always have something wonderful going on in your kitchen.

  10. I can't believe you have me wanting green beans. Green beans!

  11. The green beans look great! It must be nice having FRESH green beans. Yummy!

  12. I loove eating beans in the summer as well! This would be a nice and easy salad to serve at work too!

  13. Nothing better than fresh green beans. What a great dish. I'm now adding Mario Batali's Molto Gusto to my cookbook obsession.

  14. We are just starting to pick our green beans so this is a perfect recipe for me.

  15. Great side dish. Then again, I could probably eat the onions by themselves as a main course!

  16. Ok, I have to admit, Mario is NOT one of my favorite chefs, but this recipe looks like a winner!

  17. This looks great...I'm loving mario's new book.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! At the moment I am having a huge problem with spam so I've had to add comment moderation and close off comments to anonymous users. I apologize for the trouble and hope to return my comments to normal shortly.