Best. Side dish. Ever.
My mom and I used to always make this huge, beautiful, delicious Nicoise Salad from an old Sunset Magazine picnic-food cookbook. It’s fairly labor intensive as it involves a lot of ingredients which get prepared separately and then layered. At some point, trying to figure out a green-vegetable side-dish for Thanksgiving, I came up with the idea of just preparing the green bean portion of the salad – so basically blanched green beans in Nicoise dressing. This is a surefire crowd-pleaser, every time, and so easy to prepare.
Green Beans Nicoise
1-2 lbs. string beans
1/2 C. to 1 C. olive oil
1/3 C. red wine vinegar
2 T. capers
A squirt of anchovy paste (I leave this out now due to vegetarianism, but boy is it yummy!)
1 t. salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Dissolve the salt in the vinegar. Pour in the olive oil, slowly, stirring continuously. Add capers, anchovy paste, and pepper.
Blanch the beans in boiling water until barely tender. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water, or run under cold water until cool. (Or for a warm dish you can prepare the dressing ahead, blanch the beans, drain them and throw the dressing on top and serve them hot before they have the chance to overcook.) Pour dressing over beans and let them marinate as long as you like.