Yellow String Bean Salad
Our guests went on a wine tour with Micha yesterday. While they were away, I prepared a light dinner. We have learned that after a wine tour, people don't want to really go out anymore. They don't want to have to sit through a long dinner, and they might have indulged too much in the afternoon to drive safely. So we include a light dinner in the tour now.
This time I made three summer dishes: a lentil salad with red and yellow peppers, pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and mascarpone, and string bean salad. The idea for the string bean salad came yesterday morning when our neighbor gave us a huge bag of yellow string beans he had just picked.
It was a beautiful balmy evening, filled with wonderful company and interesting conversation. The kind of evening you want to capture and hold on to.
Here is the recipe for the string bean salad:
one pound of fresh string beans, ends snapped and cut in half
one red onion, very thinly sliced
red pepper corns
half cup cubed pancetta (smoked variety)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
quarter cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice and rind of one orange
sea salt to taste
Fry the pancetta in a bit of olive oil. Let cool.
Boil the beans until tender. Rinse in cold water.
Mix the dressing ingredients together.
Toss the pancetta, onions, red peppercorns and the beans together.
Add the dressing and toss well.
Prepare this at least an hour in advance to let the flavors blend, and then serve at room temperature.