Vinegary Green Beans
This is a bright, flavorful side dish that is a prefect pairing with salmon or a simple piece of grilled chicken.
The dressing is less vinaigrette and more of a looser tapenade with a briny and vinegary pucker. The use of Worcestershire sauce adds a nice umami flavor without having to open a can of anchovies (and then having to figure out what to do with the leftover anchovies…).
Vinegary Green Beans
Side, Dressings & Sauces
American Vinegar Works
1 pound green beans (French style green beans are best for their crunch/bite)
1 tablespoon capers, finely minced
6 Kalamata olives, finely minced
1 large garlic clove, grated or mashed to paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or a little less if you don’t like sharp flavors)
2 tablespoons of Ramp Wine Vinegar (chardonnay, rose, or red are alternatives)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup of chopped flat leaf parsley
In a small bowl place prepared garlic, olives, mustard, and capers together. With a pestle or back of a spoon mash these ingredients together. You do not need to create a complete paste but you do want to bruise these ingredients together. Add vinegar and mix. Add olive oil and mix. You can lightly beat the olive oil but this is not going to be as liquidy as a normal vinaigrette. It is much more of a wet, loose, and less finely chopped tapenade. Add dashes of Worcestershire sauce and mix. Mix in chopped parsley.
Prepare the blanched green beans: Boil a large pot of water. Do not add salt. Once boiling, toss in the green beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes lightly stirring in the middle. Promptly remove from pot and put in a waiting bowl with ice water (literally cold water with ice cubes added).
Mix dressing and drained (get rid of the water) green beans carefully. You want to blend them well but you do not want to break the beans. I’ve found the flavor is best after letting them sit for a few minutes. You can serve them at room temperature or cold. Spoon solids and liquid over the beans when serving.
Blanching note: I have never regretted undercooking the green beans and often regret overcooking them. For this recipe you want your green bean to have a bit of bite and crunch. Just over 3 minutes of boiling and quick ice bath is usually perfect but feel free to test along the way.
Salt Note: You may have noticed there is no added salt in this recipe. This is because the capers and olives are bringing in salt which, coupled with acid’s ability to cover the need for salt, means there is plenty of salt flavor in this dish from the ingredients. I have never added salt to it and caution you to taste it first before adding any additional salt.
Pairings: This recipe, coupled with salmon or grilled chicken, is the perfect 20-to-30-minute weeknight meal. If you want to add a starch, Lisa’s curry roasted potatoes recipe is a nice addition.