Tender green beans, juicy figs and crunchy radicchio are tossed together with fresh herbs in this summery salad.
Simple salads are a staple for me during the summer season and with the plethora of produce rolling into the markets this time of year there’s certainly no shortage of things to throw into one.
Green beans often make it into the rotation around here; their tender bite and mild flavor make them an appealing option for a heartier salad. Not to mention that they stand up quite well to vinaigrettes without getting soggy like lettuce, making them an ideal choice for picnics and parties. Add some juicy figs, fresh herbs, toasted nuts and a generous sprinkling of cheese and you have yourself an easy summer staple that comes together in a flash.
A lively mix of textures and flavors; each bite is a little creamy, crunchy and sweet. You get a wonderful creaminess and tang from the cheese (either goat cheese or sheep’s milk feta), welcome crunch from the hazelnuts and gentle sweetness from the figs. It’s substantial enough for lunch on its own but fits in just as nicely on a buffet or picnic table.
You simply blanch some green beans then toss them with a tangy/sweet balsamic fig vinaigrette. In goes some radicchio for color (and its nice bitter edge), then a fistful of fresh parsley and chives, followed by those toasted nuts and juicy ripe figs (I’m not so fussy about the variety and just toss in whichever ones are looking most ripe and flavorful.)
The final flourish is the cheese which ties it all together. My two favorites for this salad are mild, creamy goat cheese and slightly salty, crumbly sheep’s milk feta cheese, both which go beautifully with the green beans and figs.
I’ve always loved goat cheese and feta and you’ll often find them in my fridge and in my recipes, which is why I welcomed the chance to create a recipe showcasing both for Art of Cheese by Président Cheese. I choose their goat cheese for this salad when I’m craving the creamy tang of fresh goat milk and sheep’s milk feta when I want that briny hit. Either one makes an excellent companion to the fresh green beans and ripe figs that are the backbone of the salad; add a glass of crisp white wine to compliment the cheese pairing even further and you have the makings of special summer meal.
Here’s to summer!
(Disclosure: This recipe and post was created as part of my paid collaboration with Lactalis and ArtOfCheese.com.)