A salad recipe of garden-grown green beans, crisp radishes, and heirloom tomatoes is tossed with a light honey-sweetened vinaigrette and feta. Goat cheese crostini provide a crouton-like crunch on the side.
My daughter runs through damp grass dotted with white clover. Her sallow hair trails behind her in a mess of swimming-induced tangles. Beach waves, if you like. Pool toys and bikes lay side by side wherever they happened to fall in the midst of last night’s lawn games. A clothesline hanging between two maple trees swings slightly in the breeze of the crisp morning as I obediently gather the hose to water all the things I planted months before.
My garden is bursting with green. The warm days of spring have led into a summer with ideal conditions for growing. More than a bit of rain, plenty of heat, and tender love and care transform my ordinary backyard into a kitchen garden.
Raised beds hold tomato vines that seemingly grow inches each afternoon. Small fruits adorn their branches like Christmas lights just in time for the July celebration. The dark brown dirt is dotted with the green tops of carrots and the bushy leaves of radishes. Along the back fence, my 5-year-old’s green beans have been producing, and on weeks there aren’t enough to satisfy, I pick up a basket or two or three at the market where I can find any number of colored beans waiting to come home with me.
I find these early days of summer inspiring with their green that has yet to be hit by late summer droughts (we have floods instead) or other afflictions. The growth seems prolific, and the tomatoes appear to be unending in their bounty. Summer still sings with promise.
This salad is a nod to all of my favorite things in the garden at the moment: the long, thin green beans and the radishes that I planted mid-May are getting a chance to shine alongside the smallest tomatoes, which are always the first to be ready for harvesting. Tossed in a red wine vinaigrette with a kiss of honey and a hint of Dijon. Fresh oregano and thyme are plucked from the raised beds, minced, and added for a burst of fragrant flavor. A healthy sprinkle of Valbreso sheep’s milk feta adds rich, creamy bits of salt to help bind it all together.
We served this salad with thin slices of baguette, toasted with a small bit of oil and then broiled with a smear of goat cheese. A drizzle of honey and a sprig or two of the garden’s herbs make these “croutons” a dish in and of themselves.
Summer Garden Green Bean Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
- For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon strong Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- For the salad:
- 1 pound fresh haricot verts
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes, halved
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 6 medium radishes, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup Président Valbreso Feta Crumbles
- In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, and the sea salt. Whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly add in the olive oil to emulsify. Stir in the fresh oregano and thyme.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with one tablespoon of salt. Add in the haricot verts and cook for 1 minute, just until tender and vibrant green. Drain and cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the haricot verts, cherry tomatoes, shallow, sliced radishes, and oregano. Toss with the dressing. Top with the Valbreso Feta crumbles.
Toasted Goat Cheese Crostini
- 1 large baguette, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces Président goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 3 tablespoons fresh herbs
- Preheat the broiler. Place sliced baguette on a baking sheet and brush lightly with the olive oil.
- Broil until the bread is slightly dried out. Remove from the oven and spread each baguette slice with goat cheese. Return to the broiler.
- Broil the toasts, turning the baking sheet for even cooking, 60 seconds or so, until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven.
- Before serving, drizzle the crostini with honey and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Lactalis compensated me to license the photos and content in this post and provided me with complimentary Président cheese products for recipe development purposes. All garden vegetables and ruminations are my own. You can head over to the Art of Cheese site to download a $1 Off coupon, enter to win Président cheese products, and to find recipes and product information.