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Farm Fresh: Green Bean Salad a veritable rainbow

Thursday, September 05, 2002

By Betsy Kline Post-Gazette Staff Writer

The farmers' markets are bursting with green beans, zucchini, sweet peppers of every hue, and fresh, fragrant basil. All these crunchy favorites and more come together in a Green Bean Salad shared with us by Amy Porco Trilivas of Ross.

Amy, a teacher at Fort Pitt Elementary in Garfield, is a free spirit in the kitchen. She doesn't follow a strict recipe as far as amounts are concerned. She varies amounts and adjusts seasonings as she goes. Her technique for marinating the main vegetables separately results in a crisp mingling of flavors when the whole dish comes together.

The amounts we're assigning are merely a guideline. Feel free to experiment.

The one ingredient that is pivotal is the Paul Prudhomme Vegetable Magic. We'd never used it before and had to canvass several grocery stores before we finally found it at the Community Market in Fox Chapel Plaza. We're hooked. Now we're imagining all sorts of uses for it.

Amy's Green Bean Salad

  • 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • Olive oil, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Paul Prudhomme's Vegetable Magic, to taste
  • 2 to 3 baby zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced paper thin
  • Red wine vinegar, about 1/3 cup (Amy prefers Progresso)
  • 1 tomato, finely sliced
  • Red or yellow peppers, slivered, for garnish
  • Carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler and chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • Oil-cured black olives, about 1/4 cup

In a medium pot, cover the beans with water and bring to a boil. Cook to desired doneness, about a 10-minute simmer for crisp-tender, longer for well done. Drain and allow to cool.

When cool, put beans in large shallow serving dish and add olive oil -- more than a coating but don't drown them. Stir in the scallions, garlic and celery and sprinkle with the seasonings, adjusting to taste.

In a separate dish, put the thinly sliced zucchini and add a splash or two of red wine vinegar, again to taste. Sprinkle zucchini with the same trio of spices and stir to blend. Allow to sit for about an hour.

About 15 to 30 minutes before serving, add the zucchini and vinegar to the bean dish. Add the tomato, pepper slivers, carrot, feta cheese, olives and top with the basil strips.

Allow the flavors to mingle at room temperature.

Makes 8 to 10 side dish servings.

Betsy Kline can be reached at bkline@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1408.

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