It’s Thursday evening. I’m wrapped in a blanket, drinking coffee, and watching the rain fall outside my living room window. It’s so gloomy outside, and yet I’m so cozy. It is the perfect fall evening.
And here I am, posting a bright and summery recipe for green bean salad. You know, sometimes a girl just wants green beans and blackberries in the middle of October. To be fair, I did get the berries at the farmer’s market. I’m sure we are at the (very!) tail end of blackberry season, but they are technically still in season. As for the green beans? I bought them at the regular old grocery store. They were probably shipped from California (or Mexico!), but I’m not sweating it. You can’t be perfect all the time.
This particular salad was inspired from a similar salad I had during the Montavilla Harvest Dinner. The salad was the brainchild of Chef Adam Sappington from The Country Cat, and it was fantastic. The salad was the second course in a six course dinner, and I thought it was the highlight of the evening. It was simple, but stunning. I liked it so much that I decided to re-create it at home!
I’m not kidding when I say this salad is simple. There are four ingredients, not counting the dressing. But each of the ingredients work so well with the others. The flavors are spot on. It makes me wonder why I’ve never tried this combination before. Green beans, blackberries, caramelized onions and goat cheese. I can’t get over how good it is. It’s good enough to justify posting a summer salad in the middle of October. ;)
Green Bean and Blackberry Salad
1lb green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 cup goat cheese, room temperature
1 medium-large yellow onion, sliced into thin rounds
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil (+1 tablespoon for caramelizing the onion)
1.5 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
Salt & pepper, to taste
In a medium sized pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook green beans in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until bright green. Remove green beans from the boiling water and plunge into an ice bath (or rinse well with cold water, to stop the cooking). Pat dry and set aside.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the onions and cook over medium-low heat until caramelized. I like a deep golden (almost brown) color on my caramelized onions. I cook for 20-30 minutes (or longer) over low heat and stir occasionally. Once onions are caramelized to your liking, remove from heat and set aside for later.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a dash of salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Take a couple pieces of caramelized onion and using the end of a wooden spoon (or any other kitchen tool that will work), muddle the onion in the dressing mixture.
Toss the green beans and caramelized onions in the dressing mixture (be careful not to overdress, toss just to coat!). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow flavors to meld.
When you’re ready to serve the salad, sprinkle the blackberries over the green bean mixture. Either crumble or place small dollops of goat cheese on the salad. If you so desire, drizzle a bit more balsamic vinegar over the salad (I drizzled a bit of high quality aged balsamic over the whole salad, and it was superb.)