Sharing a Simple Bean Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette today! It’s fresh and full of tangy, nutty flavor from the vinaigrette. Plus, all of my tips for blanching vegetables to perfection.
This is such a simple salad recipe – you blanch a bunch of vegetables, cool them in an ice bath, let them dry out, then toss them in an extra flavorful parmesan vinaigrette. It’s one of those things that is PERFECT for an effortless side dish. It’s easy enough to make for a busy weeknight meal, yet beautiful enough to serve at your next dinner party.
Other than whisking together the vinaigrette, all the effort this salad takes is to blanch the vegetables. If you’re not familiar with blanching, here’s a rundown…
Blanching Vegetables – The Basics
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You want there to be plenty of space for the vegetables to do their thing.
- Heavily (and I mean heavily) season the blanching water. If you’re feeling up to it, give the water a taste. It should taste just like sea water. That’s when you know you have enough salt.
- Add the vegetables. You don’t want to overcrowd the pot, so work in batches if needed.
- Blanch each vegetable separately. All ingredients have different cook times. You want to always blanch different items in different batches.
- Don’t overcook. When the vegetables are bright, vibrant, and tender…they’re done. Most vegetables only take a few minutes to blanch.
- Use a slotted spoon or strainer to lift the vegetables out of the water. Don’t pour out all the water if you have more vegetables to blanch.
- Transfer the vegetables to an ice bath, which is essentially a large bowl of ice water. The vegetables should be left in here for just a minute or so, until the inside of the vegetable feels cool to the touch. Leaving them in the water too long will make them soggy.
- Drain the vegetables and make sure to let them dry. Usually you’ll blanch vegetables before tossing them in a vinaigrette, searing them in a pan, grilling them, etc. If they are still wet, they will have a diluted flavor or not cook properly.
….now, let’s go cook all the vegetables!
….and then toss them in this parmesan vinaigrette! YAY.
- kosher salt, as needed
- 1 lb snap peas, trimmed
- 1 lb yellow beans, trimmed
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- 1 bunch heirloom baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup grapeseed (or vegetable) oil
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- small chunk of parmesan cheese, for garnish
- 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the pot.
- 2. Add the snap peas to the water. Blanch for 2 minutes. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Strain the snap peas and add them to the ice water. Let cool for 1 minute. Drain the snap peas and set aside, patting with paper towels to dry.
- 3. Repeat with the yellow beans, blanching for 3 minutes.
- 4. Repeat with the green beans, blanching for 3 minutes.
- 5. Repeat with the carrots, blanching for 3 minutes.
- 6. Once all of the vegetables are fully dry, add them to a large mixing bowl.
- 1. Meanwhile, combine the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and grated parmesan cheese in a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
- 2. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in both oils until emulsified. Season with the salt.
- 3. Toss the vegetables with half of the vinaigrette. Add more vinaigrette until the vegetables are well-coated. Reserve any extra vinaigrette for a later use if needed.
- 4. Season the salad with freshly cracked black pepper and more salt (if needed) to taste. Plate the salad and use a microplane to freshly grate the chunk of parmesan cheese over top.