Saturday, August 18, 2012

Green Bean, Tomato and Shrimp Salad

Sometimes I have to slow down and revisit my cookbook shelves.  Like most people who enjoy being in the kitchen, I have my "go to" recipes that appear on our table over and over.  I keep a diary of meals served to guests and try not to repeat.  On occasion, I want something different and decide to sit down with a long unused cookbook or two for inspiration.  Last week, I pulled out

We started out married life living in La Jolla, California at the same time a plethora of fine cookbooks were coming into the culinary market and shops offering cooking classes were popping up.  The year was 1975.  George and Piret Munger opened The Perfect Pan in San Diego.  It offered exotic (to me) ingredients, fine coffees and the opportunity to learn to cook.  I was in the right place at the right time!

Out of The Perfect Pan came Piret's restaurant a few years later.  The menu was California fresh and cutting edge.  Piret's was perfect for lunch with a friend or a dinner date.  It is one of my fondest memories of living in southern California.

This green bean salad with fresh tomato vinaigrette is one of our favorites when tomatoes are in season in the midwest.  I hope you'll like it as much as we do.

Green Bean Salad with Fresh Tomato Vinaigrette inspired by Piret's

3 tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and diced
2 small shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp white wine vinaigrette*
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate to chill.

2 pounds fresh green beans, blanched for two to four minutes depending on how crunchy you like them, plunged in iced water and drained.

To serve, plate the green beans and top with the fresh tomato vinaigrette.

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 tsp sugar
1Tbsp very finely minced shallot
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together and refrigerate.  Will keep for several weeks.

**The shrimp was leftover from the Frogmore Stew**