Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Dressing
Prep: 20 Mins | Total: 20 Mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
Difficulty: Easy
2 Pounds Fresh Green Beans, washed and trimmed
1 Pound Cherry Tomatoes, halved
½ Cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion (about ½ small onion)
½ Pound Bacon, cooked and chopped (Can substitute with smoked almonds for vegetarians)
4 Ounces Crumbled Blue Cheese (Can substitute with feta cheese)
Balsamic Dressing
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (juice of 1 lemon)
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Olive Oil
Kosher Salt, to taste
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt (it should taste as salty as a well seasoned soup).
Place half of the green beans in the pot of boiling water and cook until they're tender, about 3-5 minutes. While the green beans are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice water. Remove the green beans from the boiling water when tender, and immediately place them in the ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking. This will keep them bright green and perfectly tender. Remove the green beans from the ice water and drain them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat the process with the remaining green beans.
Add the green beans to a bowl with the sliced cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion. Set aside.
To make the dressing, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover the bowl and chill for up to 3 hours until you're ready to serve it. Top with the cheese and bacon right before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Chef Tips
Allow the salad to sit dressed for at least an hour before serving so that the flavors of the dressing can sink into the vegetables.

Toss up a fresh and colorful salad with snappy green beans, juicy cherry tomatoes, and red onions. We added lots of flavor with blue cheese, crumbled bacon, and a bright homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing that you can throw together with only 3 ingredients. (Want to keep it vegetarian? Smoked almonds would make a savory meatless alternative.) The longer this healthy salad sits, the more the flavor builds — which makes it a perfect make-and-take side dish to bring to a potluck or dinner party.

Do not let a childhood of wilted, over-boiled green beans put you off this summery salad. We blanch those beautiful beans very briefly and then shock them in ice water so that they stay perfectly crisp-tender and never mushy. A quick blanch also brings out their bold green color, which looks so stunning on the plate next to the cherry tomatoes and red onions.

Don’t forget our absolute favorite kitchen tip to slice up all of those cherry tomatoes: place a plastic container lid or plate on top of the tomatoes, then slice straight through all of them at once with a sharp knife — voila! Handfuls of expertly halved tomatoes in seconds.

You’re going to love this balsamic dressing as much for its simplicity as the bright, tangy flavor it adds to the vegetables. There’s no long list of ingredients or tedious mincing here — just balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little lemon juice is all you need (seasoned generously with salt and pepper, of course). Blue cheese a bit too funky for ya? Feta would give this salad a milder creaminess.