Green Bean & Zucchini Salad

 


 It's a little sad to say but summer is slowly coming to an end. I can attest to this fact as a lot of our summer crops in the veggie patch are shrivelling up exhausted from producing the seasons crop. It's time to start thinking about planting out for Autumn. Our beans and zucchini plants are going great guns still though. Our beans are on their third but late flush after nearly succumbing to the 40 degree heat wave we experienced a month or so ago. I have been able to pick a few handfuls of beans each day to have eat for dinner. I have been getting sick of steamed beans and zucchini though. There really is not much flavour to be held for a limp stick of over cooked zucchini. It kind of makes me gag and reminds me of my childhood pushing a soggy piece of zucchini around my plate. Shudder. So I don't really steam veggies very often for that fact. I just don't really like them done that way. Husband really enjoys his steamed veg so I make sure we have it at least once or twice a week and endure eating them that way and the little boy likes them cooked this way too so there really is no choice.



On the other days of the week when we want to eat vegetables I try and get a little more creative with how I will prepare and serve them. Sometimes I roast them and serve them as is or add it into in my Roast Vegetable Quinoa Salad, stuff them into a Tuscan Vegetable Stack or simmered in a delicious curry sauce in my Eggplant & Vegetable Curry. This dish was another creative addition to my sides repertoire that I will surely add it to my meal plan list. I had freshly picked the beans from the garden along with a massive zucchini, which I forgot to get a photograph of. I knew I wanted to combine the two together in a warm salad or some sort. I started raiding my pantry staples and found a half a packet of hazelnuts and a jar of tahini. Perfect. A plan started forming in my mind. We really enjoy the beans sauteed in a little olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper so I thought I would use this technique as the base of the salad and add  ribbons of zucchini and some roasted hazelnuts at the end.



Zucchini and beans are quite mild flavoured vegetables so they needed a little jazzing up with a seriously good dressing. The tahini dressing was the crowning glory that brought the dish together I think. With flavours of creamy tahini, zesty ginger, salty soy and sesame oil it gives the salad some serious punch. I think it brings the salad to life. To add some texture and crunch I roasted the hazelnuts and rubbed off the skins before roughly chopping to sprinkle over the top just before serving. We ate this with a egg and bacon pie using a spelt crust I made from scratch. I managed to photograph the pie before eating it so I will try and post the recipe sometime soon. I got approving nods from hubby on this dish maybe not so much from the baby. He's not a fan of tahini.






Green Bean & Zucchini Salad

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 300g green beans, ends removed
  • 1 large zucchini, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt/pepper
Ginger & Soy Tahini Dressing
  • 1/4 cup unhulled tahini
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt/pepper
Instructions
Preheat the grill onto a medium heat in your oven. Place the hazelnuts onto a small baking tray and place under the grill.

Cook for 3 minutes and give the tray a shake to move the hazelnuts around and cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until golden.

Remove the nuts from the baking tray and tip onto a clean tea towel. Rub the nuts vigorously in the towel to remove the skins. Place onto a cutting board and roughly chop.

Place a large fry pan over a high heat and place in the olive oil bring the oil up to a high heat and place in the green beans. Saute the beans for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and saute for a for further 2-3 minutes.

Add in the zucchini ribbons and toss for about 30-40 seconds. No longer. The heat form the beans will continue to cook the zucchini. Place the zucchini and beans onto a serving platter and sprinkle over the chopped hazelnuts.
Drizzle about 2 -4 tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Ginger & Soy Tahini Dressing
In a small lidded jar place all of the dressing ingredients. Place the lid on and shake vigorously to combine the ingredients. Remove the lid and taste. Balance if necessary i.e. more soy, vinegar etc
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If you are in love with salads like I am check out my Simple Autumn Salad or my Roast Vegetable Quinoa Salad.




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