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Green Bean and Pita Salad

green bean and pita salad

Prepare yourselves. Salad Season has begun.

Loretta and I went to MacPherson's this morning for our weekly produce run. I'm always telling her not to say "hate." As we were getting out of the car, she said, "Mom, you hate this parking lot, right?" God. I do. I hate that %$#ing parking lot, and I don't mind passing the disdain onto my children. But I love that little produce stand on Columbian Way and the how it's sustained my family for 13 years.

Today, there was a bin of dreamy green beans --small, thin, softly fuzzy, and cheap in the way only MacPhersons manages to be. All day, I plotted their preparation (this is my illness).

I know you all won't get as hopped up about this salad as you did about the carrot cake cookies. But you might reconsider. Throwing the hot pita strips in with the goat cheese melts the cheese a bit, and if you're groaning that it calls for preserved lemons, make some already! I dug into this tangy tangle with voracity. It just tasted so perfect tonight, all of us a little sunburned from playing in the park after school and tired from counting down the days till summer. Gift after gift.

green beans

Green Bean and Pita Salad
This serves one hungry mom. For dressing, combine a glug of good olive oil, a minced garlic clove, and some juice from preserved lemons + a chopped up preserved lemon, rind and flesh. If you don't have preserved lemons, just use lemon juice and salt. Trim 1/3 lb. of small, tender green beans. Drop them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, till they're bright green and crisp-tender. Run cold water over them immediately, drain them, slice them in half lengthwise, and put them in a medium bowl. Thinly slice a handful of radishes, tear up a handful of fresh mint, and thinly slice a bit of red onion. Add them to the beans. Cut up one round of Greek pita (mine happened to be whole wheat) into 1/4" strips or wedges. Throw them in a hot skillet with a glug of olive oil, and add salt, dried oregano, and a pinch of sesame seeds. Fry until golden on both sides. Add the hot pita strips to your green bean mixture along with a handful of crumbled chevre. Pour dressing over, gently mix with your hands, and mound onto a plate.

Reader Comments (18)

I'm so excited that it's salad season. Your salads inspire me. I didn't grow up with salads at all, and I find them intimidating. Your salads are always so tasty and make me think of flavor combinations in new ways.

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpds

It's true - FoodBlogLandia definitely rewards the dessert and ignores the sides and salads. I think it's primal - visions of instant carbs trump the photo of the lettuce plate. But I would love to dine on this any day of the week!

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth R&V

I have a batch of preserved lemons in the back of my fridge somewhere- thanks for reminding me to get them out and USE them! I can picture them going very nicely with green beans. And btw, this appeals to my tastes more than a muffin or cookie would any day. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose!

Ooh this looks yummy - and I love a good salad.

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

I couldn't be more ready for salad season! Another genius creation Sarah : )

My favorite meal is a salad full of surprises. This would count as one. Can't wait to try it.

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjackie

Sarah, I have never sliced beans lengthwise as you suggest. Is there a particular reason for doing so? Thanks!

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Hi Pam! It's kind of a lot of work, so you certainly don't need to do it. For this salad, I was going for a sort of "chopped salad" effect, where I could get a bunch on my fork at the same time and get the ingredients somewhat uniform size. If I had left the green beans whole, I couldn't have gotten that result. Also, if you slice the green beans, there's more surface area for the lemon dressing and chevre to seep into...

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

[...] ready for salad season, and so is Sarah [delicious recipe [...]

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStaying Sane

I LOVE MacPherson's! I am also very fond of the tamales you can get at the roasted corn stand - why they only advertise the corn and not the tamales is beside me. Chicken mole and spicy pork, yuuuum.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Thanks, Sarah. This makes perfect sense, and I'll try it. Just when I had the drool, brought on by the images of the carrot cake cookies, cleaned off of my keyboard, you are discussing lemon dressing and chevre seeping into these lovely green beans!! Wow!! I'm keeping the cleaner handy!

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPam

this sounds like the kind of diet i need to adopt these days. thanks for the inspiration. xo

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

It makes me happy to see radishes in this salad. For some reason after years of finding them unappetizing, all of a sudden they are showing up in my shopping cart, and I've even seen them more at restaurants (Oddfelllows, maybe?), too. Salads, crudite, and garnish for posole are my only radish ideas so far. Do you have any more ideas for me?

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Hi Julie! I feel exactly the same way about radishes. I wasn't into them until the last few years. Here a little http://inpraiseofleftovers.com/2009/07/24/radish-grilled-onion-and-sungold-salsa/" rel="nofollow">salsa I made last summer that uses radishes, and I also garnish lots of Mexican food with them--rice and beans, enchiladas. One of my favorite ways with them is to slice them in half, then sprinkle coarse salt, coarsely ground dried chile, and a squeeze of lime. Last summer I saw a radish leaf pesto floating around the blogosphere, but never tried it...

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

I really have nothing enlightening to say, except I love coming to this blog at 12:48 AM when I can't sleep and shouldn't be eating.......the vicarious experience is good enough.

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermfm

I love the combinations here! I would never think to throw pita chips over greenbeans, but why not? I love them both! And with a bit of cheese...mmm.
This is a great summer salad. Looking forward to more of them from you!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudi Bushala

That salsa looks great. I'll be trying that soon!

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

[...] the original recipe can be found here, but since I doubled it, my modifications are listed [...]

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