Mediterranean Green Beans with Fresh Dill and Olives
Mediterranean green beans are a fast and refreshing answer for your everyday salad needs. A quick blanch of green beans, combined with a perky dressing, fresh dill and briny olives creates a delicious salad.
How to Blanch Green Beans
Blanching is a cooking method that refers to quickly cooking an item in boiling water, and then immediately submerging (shocking) it in an ice-water bath. In this recipe, I used the lazy blanching method. Instead of going to the trouble of putting together a bowl of ice water, I just remove the green beans from the boiling water a few minutes before they are finished. They will continue to cook once removed from the boiling water, and will turn out just perfect for this salad–crisp-tender is my favorite texture.
Types of Olives
There are many types of olives to choose from these days, from mellow and buttery to intensely flavorful. In this salad I use a Turkish dry-cured olive. These wrinkly black olives are oil-cured or salt-cured, instead of brine-cured, and are meaty in texture and have an intense, smoky, slightly bitter flavor. This brand is one of my absolute favorite dry-cured olives. Poor quality dry-cured olives are terrible–bitter, dry, and all-together forgettable.
Mediterranean Green Beans for Easy Healthy Dinners
Summertime is when green beans are at their peak, so be sure to load up at the farmer’s market. Serve Mediterranean green beans with chicken doner kebab. Or for a vegetarian feast, make a couple of salads, like this roasted eggplant and Turkish-style tomato cucumber salad.
Mediterranean-Style Green Beans with Fresh Dill and Olives
- Trim ends from green beans and cut in half. Steam them until they are a little under done, 7-8 minutes, and remove from the heat. Do not rinse. They will continue to cook while warm. Place in a large bowl.
- Mince garlic and 2 Tablespoons dill leaves. Juice lemon. Whisk together these items with salt, paprika, and olive oil to form a dressing.
- Crumble feta cheese and roughly chop olives. Toss with steamed green beans and dressing. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Top with Aleppo pepper if desired.