Looking back, there are two distinct events that ignited my love of cooking when I was 18 -- I made fajitas (complete with McCormicks seasoning) for Ted and I bought Susan Branch's Heart of the Home cookbook. Her cookbook introduced me to pesto, eggs in tomatoes, pasta with smoked salmon and peas (recipe here), and this recipe for a green bean salad.
Ted and I used to l live in Lowertown in St Paul and every Saturday morning during the summer started with a trip to the Farmer's Market. This green bean salad was in heavy rotation during those days and even now, when I make it, I think of our little kitchen in apartment 306, listening to Everything But The Girl's Come on Home with our Basset Hound Lucy underfoot. It never ceases to amaze me how food can conjure feelings, smells, and memories from the past -- even something as simple as a green bean salad.
Lemony Green Bean Salad
(adapted from Heart of the Home by Susan Branch)
1 pound of fresh green beans, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 yellow or red pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the beans in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place in a bowl with ice-cold water, to stop the cooking. Set aside, Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over beans, mix to combine, and place in refrigerator for about an hour. Serve cool, but not cold.