Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ♥

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ♥, re-inventing the picnic favorite.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's gorgeous summer salad recipe: A re-invention of that old picnic favorite, the green bean salad. Here, start with fresh green beans, toss them in an Asian-inspired dressing, then top with soy-glazed nuts. Vegan. Delicious! graphic button small size size 10

On Saturday, my street had its first neighborhood potluck in 16 years. On a decidedly steamy and buggy Missouri afternoon, we gathered in a back yard to meet newcomers and greet long-timers. Many thanks to Ed, Molly and Ellen for making it happen!

(All very neighborly, Alanna, but for the rest of us, what about the food?) Right. The food!

My contribution was a green bean salad made from fresh green beans, a welcome "whole vegetable" contrast to bowls of box-store creamy coleslaw and gloppy potato salad. My neighbors' unsolicited comments demonstrate how distinct the individual flavors remain, even as they meld together for something quite unusual:

graphic button small size size 10 "We loooove cilantro!"
graphic button small size size 10 "I taste sesame oil!"
graphic button small size size 10 "Oh the garlic!"
graphic button small size size 10 "Those nuts are delicious!"

All by themselves, the nuts are delicious, first toasted, then glazed in soy sauce – easy nibblers, for sure.

graphic button small size size 10 "I made the green beans last night - WE LOVED THEM! Ohhh and the nuts? My husband said he refuses to eat nuts if they aren't soy glazed from here on out." ~ La Mia Cucina


Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 8

4 quarts water
2 tablespoons table salt
2 pounds fresh beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-size lengths

1/2 cup almonds, preferably slivered or sliced
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
Sugar to taste (start with a teaspoon, I use a couple of tablespoons)

Dried, cooked green beans
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions (I used chopped radishes)
Soy-glazed almonds

BEANS Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and the prepped beans, let return to a boil, cover and cook for about 5 minutes til mostly cooked but still bright green. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain beans through a colander then immerse the entire colander into the ice water until beans turn cool, just a few seconds; this is the "shock" process to halt further cooking. Drain well, the colander is plenty if there's a couple of hours time, if you're in a rush, drain the beans on double layers of paper towels, they should be moist inside but completely dry on the outside.

SOY-GLAZED ALMONDS In a small skillet, toast the almonds on MEDIUM heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, til the almonds are beginning to turn lightly brown. Increase the heat to MEDIUM HIGH and add the soy sauce. It will boil up and the liquid will quickly evaporate, glazing the almonds with color and flavor. Stir for about a minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

ASIAN DRESSING If using garlic and ginger from jars, whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. With fresh garlic and ginger, process the dressing in a mini food processor (start with the garlic, ginger and sugar before adding the vinegar and oil).

JUST BEFORE SERVING Add the beans to the dressing and stir well to coat. (If making ahead of time, stop here and refrigerate. Stir occasionally.) Arrange on a low-rimmed platter. Just before serving, top with cilantro, green onion and almonds.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Cook the beans, glaze the almonds and mix the dressing ahead of time, early in the day, even a day ahead. Mix the salad and add the toppings just before serving, however.

BRINGING OUT THE FLAVOR OF GREEN BEANS In the World's Best Green Casserole, I learned the importance of cooking beans in a lot of water with a lot of salt. The proportion is 1lb beans:2qts water:1 tablespoon table salt. It makes a world of difference!
ALMOND SHAPES I've made this salad with slivered almonds and whole almonds. For appearance's sake, I think I'd prefer slivered or sliced almonds.
BIG PLATTER This salad is best served on a large platter, this way the toppings are more spread out and can be scooped into each spoonful.
NUTRITION NOTES The inspiring recipe called for 1 tablespoon peanut oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the first time I used this full measure since it was two tablespoons for two pounds of beans and my "standard" fat:vegetable proportion on A Veggie Venture. Since then, I use just a teaspoon of sesame oil and omit the rest, since the sharpness of the vinegar, garlic and ginger can hold their own against the flavor and texture of fresh beans without additional oil. The salad is sooo fresh tasting this way!

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

A Veggie Venture is the home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg
and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007 & 2016
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. AnonymousJune 18, 2007

    Wish I'd had thsi idea before yesterday's Father's Day picnic, way different than the typical canned green bean salad.

  2. I've got a family event coming this August- I'll be taking this. But first I'll make it just for the 2 of us, because I don't think I'll be happy until I try those almonds with the beans and dressing. YUM!

    Thank you so much for the submission, Alanna - it's perfect. =)


  3. Sounds like a great neighborhood party! I love green beans with garlic -- I'd probably skip the cilantro, but definitely would include the nuts. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Green bean salad is perfect summer!! This is surely a keeper! Looks and sounds lovely.

  5. Wow, this looks fab! Another great use for all those heaps of summer green beans.

  6. AnonymousJune 22, 2007

    Monday 5:58pm "I am so taken with this salad.. and truthfully, I'm not a big bean eater (I want that to change though) but the flavors you've combined here are just too good to not try - which I will, soon."

    Wednesday 6:40am "Holy cow, I'm on my way out the door for work, but I just had to drop you a quick line -
    I made the green beans last night - WE LOVED THEM! Ohhh and the nuts? My husband said he refuses to eat nuts if they aren't soy glazed from here on out. hahaha! We loved the dressing, everything about it.. Thank you so much for passing along that recipe - you've given me a healthy dish that I'll be preparing for years to come!!"

    Thursday 5:37am "... this green bean dish you've given me is tooooooo fantastic. Both of us, last night, were whining about how there were no more green beans! lol"

    Thursday 12:48pm and then this

    [note, excerpts of e-mails from Lis to Alanna]

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna