From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...For many, this weekend marks the end of summer and the start of a new school year. When I was in grammar school this was an exciting time. I'd spend the weekend checking my pencil box to make sure it complied with regulations and carefully walk around the house with heavy socks over my new school shoes. The object was to break them in without scratching the leather, so that on the first day of school my appearance would be unblemished. French braids would replace the wild mane of summer and a carefully chosen outfit that smelled store new was neatly hung and hooked over the door knob where it could be easily reached. Accessories on that first day of school would include color coordinated ribbons and socks, the fanciest barrettes my allowance could buy and, my pride and joy, a Lone Ranger lunch box that predated the unisex movement by decades. Years later, I'd watch my own children go through a similar ritual, all of us excited that the summer was coming to an end and almost grateful that routine would again direct our days. Labor Day weekend, then and now, was a busy time for us and while we'd have a barbecue it was not elaborate. I know that many of you will have company this weekend. I wanted to share some simple salad recipes with you. The recipes are scaled to feed a gang and take advantage of the rag-tag late summer produce that's now in markets. The first is a tasty bean salad that's paired with tomatoes and cheese and so colorful that it will please the eyes as well as the palate. It's super simple to make and it will feed 16. Here is how it is made.
Fresh Green Bean Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Healthy Cooking magazine
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1) Place beans in a 6-qt. stockpot; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place into ice water. Drain and pat dry.
2) In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, mustard and pepper. Drizzle over beans. Add onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in tomatoes and cheese. Yield: 16 servings (3/4 cup each).
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