Last weekend when shopping for groceries, I got some of these fresh green beans, slim and tender and not thick and sturdy as beans tend to be, at least at Bangalore. These beans did not have much string to them and could be easily snapped into pieces. As I am experimenting with different vegetarian salad/ grain bowls for lunch (that do not compromise on taste), and as the FB Group, FoodieMondayBlogHop picked ‘Bean Power’ as the theme for this week, the Pesto Green Bean Ribboned Zucchini Salad with Citrus Dressing was a convenient choice for theme post. The zucchini ribbons and the pistachio pesto were peeled/ made during the cookout last weekend with BYOB friends.
This is a very versatile salad. You could substitute or add to the zucchini, just keeping the beans and pesto as the central players. Boiled corn, sliced baked potato or sweet potato, thinly sliced red radish, apples or pears, boiled chickpeas – take your pick. Add a lot of salad greens – lettuce, rocket/ arugula leaves, sautéed kale or spinach. Add herbs – I had basil, rosemary and mint all growing in my tiny balcony ‘garden’ and I tossed in a handful to add flavour to the Pesto Green Bean Ribboned Zucchini Salad. Its green, fresh and tasty and makes a perfect light lunch. Make sure you pick tender young beans which need just a few minutes of blanching to give crunch to the salad.
I have used my favourite Basil Pistachio Nuts Pesto for the salad, along with my go to salad dressing of citrus in sesame oil. Extra virgin olive oil may be substituted but of course that will change the flavour. And you could use any pesto you prefer. For this vegan version I have ensured there is no cheese in the pesto.
Im enjoying being in the FoodieMondayBlogHop FB Group. Every Tuesday the member in turn propose options for the weeks theme, and all of us vote on it. We have to post the recipe on the Monday following. It actually becomes a mad scramble to get the ingredients, cook, photograph and then write the recipe and rest of the post, keeping SEO in mind, and post it punctually on Monday morning. But its fun and it makes sure I post 4 recipes each month on the blog, which is really really good discipline for me at least!
The theme for this week was selected by Seema Doraiswamy Sriram, who blogs at Mildly Indian. Its a lovely site and I hope you will visit it and browse through the collection of recipes ranging from traditional Indian curries, sweets and festival treats to refreshing soups and salads like this creamy Lemon Barley Vegan Soup
As an accompaniment to the Pesto Green Bean Ribboned Zucchini Salad, I made an Olive Rosemary Focaccia, the recipe for which you will find on this blog. The Focaccia tasted even better than usual when dunked in the salad with its fresh pesto and citrusy dressing!