Green Bean Salad with Cilantro Sauce

A vibrant cilantro-based pesto is a fresh way to dress up blanched green beans.

Green Bean Salad with Cilantro Sauce
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS To dress up a simple green bean salad, we came up with a fresh take on pesto by swapping the traditional basil for bright, grassy cilantro. A single scallion brightened the green color of the sauce, and walnuts and garlic cloves, briefly toasted in a skillet, added nutty depth. The fruity flavor of extra-virgin olive oil complemented the other flavors in the dressing nicely. Finally, a touch of lemon juice rounded out the flavors and helped to loosen the sauce to just the right consistency. We blanched and shocked the beans to set their vibrant green color and ensure that they were evenly cooked. Don’t worry about drying the beans before tossing them with the sauce; any water that clings to the beans will help to thin out the sauce.

¼ cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2½ cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems, tough stem ends trimmed (about 2 bunches)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 scallion, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1. Cook walnuts and garlic in 8-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to bowl. Let garlic cool slightly, then peel and roughly chop.
2. Process walnuts, garlic, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, scallion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; transfer to large bowl.
3. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot over high heat. Meanwhile, fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain green beans, transfer to ice water, and let sit until chilled, about 2 minutes. Transfer green beans to bowl with cilantro sauce and gently toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.)

Green Bean and Potato Salad with Cilantro Sauce VEG
Before cooking beans, place 1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, sliced ¼ inch thick, in large pot, add water to cover by 1 inch, and bring to boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce to simmer, and cook until potatoes are tender and paring knife can be slipped in and out of potatoes with little resistance, about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes, spread out in rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with some of cilantro sauce.
Reduce amount of green beans to 1 pound and cut into 2-inch lengths; cook as directed. Toss green beans and potatoes with remaining sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Trimming Green Beans

Line beans up on cutting board and trim ends with 1 slice.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecorino and Pine Nuts
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS To make Brussels sprouts shine in a salad, we needed to get rid of some of their vegetal rawness. Rather than cooking the sprouts, we sliced them very thin and then marinated them in a bright vinaigrette made with lemon juice and Dijon mustard. The 30-minute soak in the acidic dressing softened and seasoned the sprouts, bringing out and balancing their flavor. Toasted pine nuts and shredded Pecorino Romano added to our salad just before serving added a layer of crunch and nutty richness. Slice the sprouts as thinly as possible. Use the large holes of a box grater to shred the Pecorino Romano.

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and sliced very thin
2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, shredded (⅔ cup)
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil. Add Brussels sprouts, toss to coat, and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Stir in Pecorino and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Shredding Brussels Sprouts for Salad

1.Peel off any loose or discolored leaves and slice off bottom of stem end, leaving leaves attached.

2.Halve Brussels sprouts through stem end, then slice very thin.