Spicy Salsa Green Bean Salad

I know you’ve already heard me say this (and if you read my friend Emily’s blog, you’ve heard it there, too), but Rick Bayless is my culinary hero. It was thrilling to see him with Top Chef Masters last week – not just because he was a gracious competitor, but because his food is top notch, and just as deserving of adulation as all the prissy French food that seems to win on these shows.

And just when I thought I couldn’t love Rick anymore – they toss in a gluten-free, vegan challenge! Rick embraced the challenge (unlike another chef), and knew exactly how to handle it, mentioning that his daughter is gluten-free. Given that Rick’s specialty is Mexican food, cooking gluten-free isn’t all that difficult, and I’ve dined very happily and safely in his restaurants. But still – to handle restricted diets with grace under fire – I heart Rick Bayless forever.

Tuesday nights at our house often provide interesting meals. We receive our farm share box on Wednesdays, so I’ve usually got an odd assortment of veg left in the crisper that need eating. This week, the leftovers included a small bag of green beans. It was a warm night, and we were having steak tacos for dinner, so I wanted a cool, crisp salad to go with the meal…and wouldn’t you know it – Rick Bayless had a simple green bean salad recipe for me!

This salad is delicious, and comes together in a matter of moments. It has some nice tartness from the lime juice, and a little heat from the salsa. Toss in a handful of cilantro and sliced onion, and you’ve got a fine salad! We had a little leftover, and the salad was even better the next day, as the beans tasted a bit pickled – yum!

Green Bean Salsa Salad
Serves 3

109 calories per serving, 6g fat, 11g carbs, 2g protein

3 cups green beans, ends trimmed and cut into pieces
1/3 cup tomatillo or red salsa (I used homeade chipotle tomato salsa, but jarred would work fine, too.)
juice of one lime
2 T grapeseed oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, and blanch the beans for 2 minutes. Then, scoop up the beans with a wire basket and plunge them into an ice water bath to stop them from cooking further. Once they are cooled, drain the beans in a colander and set aside.
  2. Combine the salsa, lime juice and grapeseed oil in a small bowl – season with salt to taste.
  3. Place the beans in your serving bowl with the sliced onion, pour on the dressing, and toss to coat. Taste, and adjust seasoning again if needed. It’s good to make this an hour or so before you plan to serve it, so the flavors have a little time to marry.

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