Chilled Green Bean Salad with Rosemary & Garlic Oil ♥

Chilled Green Bean Salad with Rosemary & Garlic Oil
Today's summer salad recipe: Just in time for the summer's first green beans, a simple salad, nothing more than beans tossed in oil infused with rosemary and garlic but somehow, somehow so much more. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 or 2 points. Happiness Quotient 100.

Tis a magical thing, when summer and the first beans arrive on the same day, a sign that something just might be 'right' with the world. So it happened on June 21, the day of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, what the Finns and other Scandinavians call 'Midsummer.' I wore a dress from Finland, I cooked my favorite Finnish recipes, especially the oh-so-lovely Finnish Summer Soup (kësakeitto) and a favorite fruit dessert I intend to make all summer long, just to sample all the variations.

But the beans, oh my, the beans. They'd been off the bush no more than 10 minutes by the time they plopped into the bubbling pot of water so the only thing fresher would be dusting them off right there amid the tomatoes (doing fine, thank you, especially the cherry tomatoes I'm so fond of) and onions and cabbage and pattypan squash and cucumber, then crunching right in to taste sun and the sky captured in a bit of greenness no longer than a finger. There we were with a Finnish feast and all we could think was, "Let's make a meal of the beans."

Mine is a northern soul but if these beans are a sign of the summer to come, bring it on.

"... you are so right, the beans are so wonderful and delicious." ~ Sherry
"What a terrific dish! I've made it 3 times already!" ~ Anonymous
"Tried this dish last night. ... even my guest asked for the recipe." ~ Sparkling Mimi


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife

Big pot of well-salted water
1 pound fresh green beans, ends snipped
Big bowl of ice water

Fresh basil, chopped into thin ribbons
1 bulb shallot, peeled and sliced thin on the cross-wise
Good salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel or another large-grain flaky salt (don't skip this - it somehow makes the dish)

ROSEMARY & GARLIC OIL In a small saucepan, gently warm the olive oil, rosemary and garlic just until the garlic begins to sizzle. Turn off the heat and let the rosemary and garlic flavors infuse the oil.

BEANS Bring the water to a boil. Drop in the beans and let them cook for about 7 minutes, until done but still bright green and quite crispy. Drain the beans and immediately immerse into the ice water, let cool for a minute or two and then drain again. Place the beans on a double layer of paper towels and pat to dry.

TO FINISH Toss the beans with about 1 tablespoon of the oil, reserving the rest for another purpose (or more beans, tomorrow). (Stop here if making ahead of time.) Arrange on a serving plate, sprinkle with basil, shallot rings and salt.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cook the beans, toss in the oil, then refrigerate. Arrange on a serving plate, let warm to room temperature, then sprinkle with basil, shallot and salt.

Be generous with salt in the water and on top, they really 'make' green beans, even beans fresh from the garden. Health-wise, if we eat "no processed food", we have few worries about salt intake.
I've learned that two garlic cloves are really important to this, as is 'smashing' the garlic vs just chopping into two or three pieces: it makes sense, a smashed clove has more surface area from which to release its natural oils.

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This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long in 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column, and now again in 2010. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. Hello, huge fan of your website.

    Love the thought of this recipe and will definitely take to next potluck at church.

  2. That does look yummy! I make a potato salad with a pesto dressing (instead of mayo) and always add green or yellow beans to it for a nice crunch. I bet if you add julienned fennel to your recipe, that would be delish!

  3. Yummy, this we have to try!

  4. I am totally making this. And the little yellow pattypan squash looks so nice with it too! I will see of any pattypans are ready yet at the market too!

  5. AnonymousJune 24, 2010

    Mmmm, I'm jealous, it sounds like your garden is a bit ahead of ours. We might have to fill in the gaps with a farmers' market visit this weekend. What a great time of year for fresh, healthy eating -- enjoy!

  6. I love green beans just about any way, and this looks especially nice! Definitely bookmarking :)

  7. I tried this tonight and you are so right the beans are so wonderful and delicious Thank you so much for sharing

  8. AnonymousJuly 08, 2010

    What a terrific dish! I've made it 3 times already! The boys just take a few greenbeans, but that leave the rest for d/h and me! We sit @ the table and just pick at the platter!!! I also tried this w/new potatoes and extra olive oil

  9. Tried this dish last night. I have an over abundance of green beans this year and this is a delicious and healthy way to use them. Even my guest asked for the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.


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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