Do blueberries and green beans go together? Yeah, I wasn't sure either, but I wanted to try this recipe I'd found online, I only had SOME of the ingredients and I was too tired to go out and get the rest, and I had some blueberries on-hand that needed to be used up. So I decided to adapt the recipe to match what I had, add the blueberries, and it totally worked. Love when things work out that way! If I had it to do over, which I probably will, I'd add a little bit of something red just to give it some color, since as you can see in the picture, it's a little blah looking, though delicious. So here's my recipe for:
Green Bean, Blueberry and Grain Salad w/ Cilantro (or Parsley or Basil) Lime Vinaigrette.
WHAT YOU NEED:
-½ to 1 cup raw almonds
-fresh green beans, 1-2# or whatever you can get your hands on
-½ to 1 cup of your favorite grain (farro, bulgur wheat, quinoa, etc), uncooked
-1 small onion
-¼ to ½ cup of something red, maybe pitted cherries, or for a different take, sliced radishes or of course you could use diced red pepper.
-big bunch of cilantro (if you hate cilantro or don't have any, use parsley or basil)
-juice from 3-4 fresh limes
-1 tsp. Olive Mill White Oregano Balsamic Vinegar, or whatever white vinegar you have on hand, doesn't have to be balsamic
-1-2 TBS honey or sweetener to taste
-3 TBS Olive Mill Persian Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 tsp to 1TBS Olive Mill Chili Oil, for spice
WHAT YOU DO:
-Toast almonds in a 325 degree oven til you can smell them—probably about ten minutes. Remove from the oven, cool, and coarsely chop (or you can use them whole if you prefer).
-Blanch green beans in boiling water for just under a minute—you want them crispy and bright green! I like mine under rather than over-cooked. Drain and chill.
-Cook your grain according to directions, on the al dente side. Chill.
-Slice onion into very thin strips and soak in cold water for five minutes, then drain off the water. Did you know that soaking an onion in water will take the "edge" or "bite" out of it when you use it raw in recipes? Me either, just learned it in this recipe! And honestly, I would skip this step—I like the bite of the onion, but I did notice it dulled the sharpness so if you like onions but not that much, soak them in water. If you don't mind the bite, skip this step and use em as they are!
-Put into a blender or food processor: the cilantro leaves, lime juice, vinegar, honey or sweetener, and the olive oils. Blend until cilantro is chopped and incorporated and the dressing is nice and green. Taste it, and if it needs more sugar or spice, and a little more honey/sweetener or a little more Chili Oil.
-Put all ingredients into a bowl, drizzle dressing over the top, mix well and enjoy! This salad can be made ahead and/or enjoyed for several days, so it's a great dish to make on Sunday night for lunches through the week.