Green Bean and Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Green Bean and Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

It’s not always easy to come up with new salad dressings especially when I have many that I really love. I prefer to change up the salad ingredients and leave the dressings as is. But it is really important to have a few versatile dressings that can go with almost any salad. My Everyday Salad Dressing #2 is my go-to, but even I like a change of pace every once in a while. This vinaigrette is my new obsession and I can barely keep it around because my family loves it so much. The key is adding the olive oil in a steady stream while the blender is going. This is what creates a thick and emulsified dressing.  The Dijon mustard is also a great emulsifier.  If you want a lighter colored dressing, use a white balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have balsamic, use red wine vinegar and add a splash of maple syrup or honey.

Why you’ll love this green bean and basil salad

  • celebrates summer produce;
  • it’s easy and quick;
  • it’s a nice change of pace from a standard lettuce – tomato – cucumber salad;
  • it’s flexible;
  • it complements so many proteins.

Ingredients 

  • Lime juice – you’ll need about 1 lime
  • Balsamic vinegar – not the thick syrupy kind. 
  • Dijon mustard – I love using this in dressings. Helps provide acidity and creaminess. 
  • Shallot – I find shallots to be milder than regular onions and they’re convenient when you only need a small amount of onion in a recipe. 
  • Olive oil – use an unrefined olive oil for best flavor. 
  • Green beans – I trim the ends and cook them in boiling water for a few minutes and then submerge them in ice water to stop them from cooking further. You can do this step a day in advance. 
  • Lettuce – I tend to use romaine lettuce in most salads because it’s a sturdy and neutral lettuce, but if you’re into bitter greens, feel free to use arugula and/or radicchio. 
  • Tomatoes – feel free to use cherry tomatoes or a large tomato chopped. 
  • Basil leaves – have you ever tried an herb salad? Herbs in salads are so good! If you don’t have sharp knives, it’s best to tear herbs by hand as opposed to bruising them with a dull knife. 
  • Something creamy – this is completely optional, but you can add feta or cubed avocado for a creamy element. 

How to make green bean and basil salad

  1. Make the vinaigrette: blend everything in a blender except the olive oil. With the motor running, pour the olive into the blender through the feed tube/hole in the lid in a slow steady stream. Set aside. Can be made a few days in advance.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with a palmful of kosher salt. Blanch the green beans for 2-3 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in an ice water bath (bowl with ice and water) for a few minutes. Drain and pat dry. Chop into bite size pieces.
  3. Line a platter with lettuce. Top with green beans, tomatoes, and basil. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss. Top with feta or avocado, if using and taste for seasoning. Add more dressing if needed.

Tips 

  • The key for a thick and emulsified dressing is to add the olive oil in a steady stream while the blender is running. You can blend any oil-based salad dressing, but it does help to have some Dijon mustard, mayo, or aquafaba to help thicken it up. 
  • Green beans can be blanched a day in advance. Don’t forget to submerge in ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain, pat dry and refrigerate.
  • Make sure to pat green beans dry before adding them to the salad. This will help the dressing adhere to them. Remember – water and olive oil do not mix. 

Substitutions 

  • Balsamic vinegar – white balsamic vinegar (for a lighter colored dressing) or red wine vinegar with a splash of maple syrup or honey. 
  • Basil – Fresh mint, parsley, chives, or marjoram
  • Feta – vegan feta or avocado

Other recipes you may like

*Mixed greens with green beans, almonds and dried cherry vinaigrette

*Roasted green beans and shallots with lemon and thyme

*Spicy honey-lemon green beans 

 

If you give this green bean and basil salad recipe a try, snap a pic and tag @pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Subscribe for free to my site for the latest recipes,  updates and things I’m loving lately.  If you enjoy this recipe, I taught it last year in my online class!  Give me an hour a month, and I’ll make you a better, healthier cook!

 

Green Bean and Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves: 6 as a side salad
 
Ingredients
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (not the thick syrupy kind)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅔ cup unrefined cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • ________________________________________
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped or equivalent mix of arugula and radicchio if you like bitter
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato, chopped
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn by hand or fresh marjoram
  • Optional: a couple ounces sheep's milk feta, crumbled or 1 avocado, cubed
Instructions
  1. Make the vinaigrette: blend everything in a blender except the olive oil. With the motor running, pour the olive into the blender through the feed tube/hole in the lid in a slow steady stream. Set aside. Can be made a few days in advance.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with a palmful of kosher salt. Blanch the green beans for 2-3 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in an ice water bath (bowl with ice and water) for a few minutes. Drain and pat dry. Chop into bite size pieces.
  3. Line a platter with lettuce. Top with green beans, tomatoes, and basil. Drizzle with some of the dressing and toss. Top with feta or avocado, if using and taste for seasoning. Add more dressing if needed.
Notes
I like simple salads, but sometimes if I have some odds and ends in the fridge, I will toss them in to use them up. I have some other suggestions to add more to this salad, but not to complicate your life. Other additions that are nice here are capers or olives, shaved Parmesan instead of the feta, roasted red peppers, or paper thin raw zucchini slices. You can also swap sliced stone fruit like nectarines for the tomatoes.

 

 

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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