Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Salsa Dressing

 Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the day, I made a Mexican dinner of Chipotle Shrimp and this green bean salad. If raw red onion is too strong a flavor for you, I recommend rinsing the raw onion thoroughly with cold water before adding it to the salad. It will tone down the flavor some, but I know that raw onion isn't for everyone. This is a light and healthy salad, perfect for a picnic.

Green Bean Salad with Red Onion and Salsa Dressing
from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

serves 4

12 oz. (about 5 loosely packed cups) green beans, tops and tails broken off

For the salsa dressing
3/4 c. vegetable oil, olive oil, or a mixture of the two
1/2 c. good-quality salsa, preferably green tomatillo salsa
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1. Scoop the green beans into a microwaveable bowl, sprinkle on a tablespoon or so of water, cover tightly with plastic and poke a few holes in the top. Microwave on high (100%) until the green beans are tender-crunchy, usually about 3 minutes. Uncover (careful: there will be trapped steam) and tip off any water. Let cool.

2. While the green beans are cooling, combine the oil, salsa, and lime juice in a blender jar or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour into a jar and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season highly with salt (the quantity will vary depending on the saltiness of the salsa).

3. Add the onion to the cooled green beans. Shake the dressing to combine thoroughly, then drizzle on about 1/3 cup. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining dressing for another salad.) Toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt if you think the salad could use it. Sprinkle with additional cilantro, and the salad's ready to serve.

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