Many, many moons ago I made a string bean and pepper salad to bring to a BBQ. The hostess and guests loved it, but ironically I never made it again. Mostly because back then, I never wrote any of my recipe ideas down and had forgotten all about this one. My memory was jogged when I was shopping yesterday and saw some of the ingredients. I decided it was worth digging into the memory banks to revive this salad.
I knew I used string beans, red and yellow peppers with a creamy type of dressing. I also remembered that I cut the string beans on a severe angle, and julienned the peppers so that the visual effect was of all the ingredients being long and lean. After that, quite honestly the rest was a blur. This time around I found that I had asparagus in the back of the fridge and thought they fell right in line with the long and lean mantra. So, into this recipe they went. Then began the "recreation".
4 c (approx) string beans, blanched then cut on a long diagonal
1 red pepper, julienned and blanched
1 yellow pepper, julienned and blanched
1 bunch asparagus, cut lengthwise on the diagonal, blanched
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 t course sea salt
1/8 t crushed black pepper
1/4 t whole grain mustard
3 T olive oil
Trim and wash the string beans. In a saucepan, blanch the string beans until tender but still with a bite. Cut both the red and yellow peppers into thin julienne slices. Once the string beans are done, remove and cut them in long diagonal pieces. Add the peppers to same saucepan and lightly blanch. These literally take 30 seconds to one minute. You just want to get the raw bite out of these. Cut the asparagus stems on a long diagonal cut. After removing the peppers, blanch in same saucepan. Add all the vegetables to a serving dish. Add the scallions and chopped mint.
I simply could not recall what I did for the dressing but I had an avocado and knew that would deliver a creamy version. I used a mortal and pestle to combine all the above ingredients, whisking in the olive oil. You certainly can use a mini blender in pulse mode or a fork to mash the avocado, then whisk all together. Pour the dressing over the room temperature vegetables and lightly toss.
This wasn't quite the original salad, and I'm not even sure how I can say that since I can't remember what the exact original salad was, but I liked it just the same. I loved how I could taste the hint of mustard with a bright mint finish and that all the veggies still had a fresh bite to them. I think this is a great spring and summer side dish for a warm evening's dinner or great for a afternoon BBQ. This could also be hearty base for a sautéd fish. It looks great. Tastes great. And truly is a quick and easy recipe to whip up in a hurry. So hurry, get your long and lean strings of veggies on.