Green Bean Salad with Basil and Balsamic


This year the theme of our annual SacFoodies potluck was “America’s Farm to Fork Capital,” so we challenged ourselves to come up with creative dishes using local ingredients. I took the challenge to heart and based my dish on a recipe from Sacramento’s own Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes.

I followed Elise’s recipe almost exactly, but I elected to omit the onions because a few of my fellow SacFoodies are onion-adverse, if you can believe that! To keep it as local as possible, I shopped for the green beans, basil and a local cheese at the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at Cesar Chavez Plaza. I purchased Black Butte Reserve cheese from a local purveyor, Pedrozo Dairy, which added a nice punch to the salad. Finally, I topped the salad off with Gallo Family olive oil from E. & J. Gallo (client).

Here is the complete recipe, adapted from Simply Recipes:

Local Green Bean Salad with Basil and Balsamic


  • 1 ½ pounds trimmed green beans, cut to 2 to 3 inch long pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Black Butte reserve cheese (about 1 ½ ounces)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (2 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the green beans to the water and blanch only for about 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp. Fresh young beans should cook quickly. Older, tougher beans may take longer.

While the beans are cooking, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the beans are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans.

Place the green beans, red onion, and chopped basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle in the balsamic and cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 6.


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