Green Bean, Bell Pepper and Cherry Tomato Salad– Fancy!

I heard something TERRIFYING on the way to work yesterday!  The radio host was saying goodbye to a guest speaker on the show.  The guest speaker wished the host ‘Happy Holidays’.  What?  ALREADY?! 

Then it hit me– Thanksgiving is 22 days away.  Christmas is 53 days away.  Where did this year go?

I am looking forward to spending some time with family in a few weeks.  I love having Thanksgiving Dinner at my Mom’s house.  The food is always good, the company even better.  Plus, I get to give my Grandma Rapp a BEAR HUG!!  😉

This is an elegant salad that keeps well if you have some Holiday parties coming up.  It’s fresh and elegant.  And it tastes good.  Really good. 

When I make it for an upcoming party, I get all the green beans and red bell peppers chopped and  bagged in separate ziplocs, make up the vinaigrette in a small jar the night before (and keep it at room temp), and throw it all together at the last-minute.  It’s important to leave the tomatoes whole until just before tossing everything together.  Tomatoes should NEVER be refrigerated.  The refrigerator destroys their flavor. 

What are your favorite Holiday Party foods?

Green Bean, Bell Pepper, & Cherry Tomato Salad

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

1 medium shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1Tbsp. Sherry vinegar

big pinch salt

big pinch pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. dijon

FOR THE SALAD:

1-1/2 lb. green beans*, trimmed, blanched, and cut into 1″ pieces

3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1″ chunks

1 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in half

4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped (reserve 2 Tbsp)

1.  Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a pint-sized jar.  Shake until fully mixed and slightly thickened.

2.  Combine green beans, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl.  Pour in all but 2 Tbsp chopped almonds and all of the vinaigrette.  Toss to coat.

3.  Place salad in a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved chopped almonds.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate a few hours prior to serving.

*Fresh green beans can be difficult to find during the Holidays, but you can use frozen instead.  Frozen green beans also cuts down on the prep work for the salad.   Just thaw them out– they are blanched before they are frozen so there would be no need for blanching them ahead.  🙂

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