Broccoli and Green Bean Salad with Paprika-Cumin Vinaigrette

July 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Broccoli and Green Bean Salad with Paprika-Cumin Vinaigrette

This dish is pure farmer’s market inspiration. When I went to the market last Sunday, I had about one meal planned and a second in mind. When I looked around at what was available, I saw the most diverse produce Oregon has had to offer all season. Zucchini, garlic scapes, maybe even asparagus, as well as huge tomatoes, green bell peppers (red bells are on their way) peaches and plenty of boysenberries.

Picnik collage

I bought a mix of yellow, green and purple beans. The purple beans are just an heirloom variety of green beans and taste exactly the same. Unfortunately, they lose they’re pretty purple color in the cooking process and look like over cooked green beans. But they taste just as great as the green beans they are cooked with!

Broccoli and Green Bean Salad with Paprika-Cumin Vinaigrette

I made a lemon juice vinaigrette to dress my simple salad because simple is often key with peak summer produce. Just a few other pantry staples make this salad incredibly flavorful and satisfying: smoked paprika and cumin, toasted almonds, and it would be a sin not to have this summer’s corn in your crisper right now. I have been loving “nearly raw” corn lately; I toss it into cooked potatoes just before serving so that it cooks just slightly and becomes a bit tender, but remains crunchy and incredibly sweet. Other additions I considered adding to this include parmesan, briney olives, pine nuts instead of almonds, cannellini beans, fresh mint or bacon. I had lots of ideas and I will probably try some of these out in different salad-like preparations over the course of the summer.

Broccoli and Green Bean Salad with Paprika-Cumin Vinaigrette
Broccoli and Green Bean Salad with Paprika-Cumin Vinaigrette:
– zest and juice (approx 1/3 cup) of one lemon
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
– salt & pepper
– approx 1 cup oil (canola is fine; bold olive oil may overpower the seasoning)
– 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
– 1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
– 1 lb broccoli (approx 2 heads), cut into florettes
– 1 lb green beans (or mix of green, yellow or even purple heirloom beans), trimmed
To make dressing, whisk lemon zest, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper into lemon juice. Measure out the precise amount of liquid and prepare 3x of this amount of oil, aiming for 1/3 cup juice, 1 cup of oil. Slowly drizzle oil into  juice, whisking continuously. Steam or blanch broccoli and green beans until tender (I brought one inch of water to a simmer in my dutch oven, added and covered the vegetables and cooked for a bit less than 5 minutes. Strain vegetables and place in a bowl, stir in corn kernels so that the heat will cook it ever-so-slightly. Add almonds and vinaigrette so that the salad is well coated. Serve warm or chilled.

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