Green Bean Salad with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
10 cups filtered water
2 tbsp + 1 tsp sea salt
4 cups green beans, trimmed & cut into 1″ pieces (approx 1 lb)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp crushed garlic *
3 tbsp minced red onion
1 tsp minced Fresno pepper **
1 tbsp chopped mixed fresh oregano, basil & parsley ***
2 cups halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled pastured bacon (approx 4 thick-cut or 6 regular slices)
In a large pot over high heat, combine water and 2 tbsp sea salt. Bring to a boil and add green beans. Return to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes. While beans are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice water. After 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to scoop the beans out of the boiling water and into the ice water. Allow beans to chill for 2 minutes, strain and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey, olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Whisk well to combine. Add garlic, red onion, Fresno pepper and herbs to the olive oil mixture. Whisk well to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine green beans and cherry tomatoes. Pour dressing over vegetables and using a large spoon, gently toss to coat well. Right before service, sprinkle bacon on top of green bean mixture and using a large spoon, gently toss to coat. (See Note.)
* Crushing garlic is quick with a kitchen tool called a garlic press. Or to crush with your knife: Mince the garlic. Once minced, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt overtop. Chop some more. Then using the flat side of your knife, carefully press down firmly on the garlic and drag the knife towards you until the knife is no longer on top of the garlic. Lift the knife. Re-pile the garlic and start again, until it forms a paste. If you don’t have fresh garlic, two dashes of garlic powder will achieve similar results.
** If fresh Fresno peppers are unavailable, Dried Red Pepper Flakes in equal measure may be subsituted.
*** Essentially, a mix of 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil and 1 tsp parsley is desired, but I prefer to pluck a bit of each herb from my herb garden and simply chop them all together. I then measure 1 tbsp from the mixture.
Note – If making this dish several hours ahead of time, do not refrigerate the beans & tomatoes or the bacon, which will make them all go limp. Instead refrigerate the dressing and combine right before service.