Cucumber and Green Bean Salad

I mentioned July 10 that I'm creating recipes for Glade Road Growing farm in Blacksburg.  Here's the recipe for tomorrow's newsletter. It's for a main dish salad I've been making since May 2001 when Martha Stewart featured her version (pictured) in Martha Stewart Living.

Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side salad

Dressing, if desired:

This salad can be dressed or undressed. I prefer the latter, so I can really taste the vegetables. If you prefer a dressing I suggest making a Dijon vinaigrette. In a bottle with a well-fitting lid combine:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar or lime juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for fat-free version, substitute either 1 tablespoon fruit juice concentrate--apple or white grape--and 3 tablespoons water OR 4 tablespoons wine)
1 teaspoon your favorite sweetener (honey, agave, demerara sugar)
2 peeled and crushed cloves free garlic or 1 T finely minced onion.
Shake contents to emulsify. You will only use about a quarter of this for the salad. Store the rest in the refrigerator for use on other salads or in recipes such as rice and lentils.


You will need at least 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans. You can used dried ones that you cook yourself (my choice) or rinse a can of beans well and drain.

Pit 1/4 # brine cured olives such as Kalamatas or oil-cured olives by placing them on a cutting board, and pressing firmly to split.

Peel, if desired, about 1 1/4 # cucumbers. Cut lengthwise. If seeds are large, scoop out with a spoon. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the diagonal.

Thinly slice on diagonal 2-3 stalks raw celery to make 1 cup

Chiffonade 1/4 cup fresh basil OR chop 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley

Cut 1/2 # string beans in half on the diagonal, pulling the string, if necessary. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Steam beans until they turn bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking so they will remain bright.

Combine vegetables and fresh herbs in a bowl and toss to mix. Right before serving season with freshly ground pepper. Drizzle on dressing. Top, if desired (and you're not feeding vegans) with 1/4 cup of drained, crumbled feta cheese or Asiago cheese shaved on with a vegetable peeler.