The Fannie Farmer Cookbook has been around since 1896, originally published under the name The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. It has had more than a dozen printings, but my copy is from 1979. It was the first cookbook I owned, purchased for me by my mother one Christmas. Since adopting the whole-foods, plant-based lifestyle I rarely use it anymore since it's filled with animal-product recipes. However, once in awhile when you need a good basic recipe it comes through.
That is what happened yesterday when I looked at this bag of green beans I snagged at the grocery store. Tired of just steaming vegetables, I dusted off the tried and true Fannie Farmer for ideas. And do you know the recipe I found there inspired one of the best green bean salads I think I've eaten. With just a few changes, most of this recipe came from my 1979 edition originally titled "Raw Green Beans, Tomatoes, Olives, Scallions, and Celery Salad". I changed the dressing (theirs had oil) and a few ingredients to reflect what I had on hand but good old Fannie certainly got me started down the right path. Sometimes the old cookbooks have simple things that are timelessly tasty! This is one of them.
Green Bean, Tomato and Olive Salad 1 bag green beans, about 12 ounces, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 3/4 cup pitted Greek olives 1/2 cup red onion, chopped (about 2 slices) 1 red or green bell pepper sliced very thin (like matchsticks) 2 Tbs chopped parsley 2 Tbs chopped cilantro Dressing: 1 shallot, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dijon mustard 2 Tbs balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 tsp salt (optional) 1/4 tsp pepper Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the beans 2 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse the beans in cold water and transfer to the ice water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your other ingredients. Drain the beans, pat dry and transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, olives, onion, peppers, parsley, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over the salad and toss again to combine. Serves 4-6 generously.