Two months after getting an iPad, I finally bought a one-year digital subscription to Martha Steward’s Everyday Food. I like this magazine because it’s very reasonably priced (US$12 for 10 digital issues—way cheaper than getting a hard copy from the local newsstand), the recipes are simple and the food styling is great. This shall add to my list of food inspiration sources.
While flipping through the August issue, one dish particularly stands out: green beans* salad with tomatoes, olives and eggs. With vivid greens, yellows, purples and reds randomly mixed in a bowl, the entire dish looks soooo appetising. Plus these American recipes often use ingredients that are either rather expensive or hard to find here, so I was thrilled to see this dish as French bean is easily found in this part of the world.
* To avoid confusion with mung bean, green bean shall be called French bean in this post. Anyway, I know it better as French bean in English.
The original recipe calls for the use of olives, but I’m no olive fan so I struck it out. I also included corn kernels in place of hard-boiled eggs to add yellow to the salad. After seeing crumbled feta cheese tossed on so many Western salads, I’m curious about its taste so I included feta cheese even though the original recipe doesn’t have that. But being new to this Greek cheese, I opted for a cheaper, local brand (well, in case I didn’t like it) that was made in Nakorn Ratchasima—Thailand’s capital of all things bovine.
French Bean Salad with Tomato and Corn Recipe
Ingredients (Serves 2)
* 200g French beans, with black tips trimmed
* 10 grape tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 cup corn kernels
* 1/2 cup feta cheese
* 2 tbsps olive oil
* a couple of red amarath leaves (optional)
* oregano (optional)
1. Add French beans to a pot of boiling salted water. Cook the beans until crisp-tender (approximately three minutes); they should turn a shade darker. Drain and douse the beans into a bowl of cool/iced water to retain the colour. Remove from water and slice the beans into lengths of about 2 inches each.
2. Place the French beans and tomatoes into a bowl. Pour in the olive oil and give it a quick mix. Toss in feta cheese, corn kernels and a couple of purple salad leaves. Season with salt and oregano leaves. Serve.
Voila! This is my French bean salad with tomato and corn.
And my verdict after sampling feta cheese? Although I found it weird at first taste, it became quite yummy after a few tries. The feta cheese adds a touch of saltiness to an otherwise rather plain-tasting combination of vegetables, while its grainy texture also gives texture to the salad. I’m looking forward to using it more often in salads. Yeah, new food knowledge for me!
Beside 四季豆, my mum sometimes call French beans 乌龟豆 in Mandarin. Does anyone have any idea why is this name used? Why the reference to turtles? Heehee.