Golden Beet and (Green Bean) Salad

You have to laugh at yourself. You'd cry your eyes out if you didn't.

It's spring, which means beets. For those of you with beet issues, just leave the post now, because I love them in a very prejudiced way and I don't have time for non-believers.

DeCicco's always has beautiful produce and on my last trip they had gorgeous, fat, golden beets, which are my very favorite of all beets. I'd had my eye on this golden beet and green bean salad I pinned from Martha Stewart. I remembered to grab crumbled goat cheese and I swear, I swear I bought two bags of French green beans—one for Easter, and one for the salad.

I must have made both bags on Easter because after I'd roasted the beets and had the water boiling to blanch the beans, I went to the fridge beans. What? Of course there are beans, I bought two bags because I knew I was making this salad! No! No this is not happening!

You know that thing where you search the fridge thoroughly for something you know is there. But it's not. But you keep going back to the fridge and searching again? In weird places like the butter drawer?

So anyway, once I was convinced that there were no beans to be had, I kicked myself around the kitchen a couple times but then the show had to go on. I regrouped by roasting some asparagus and it worked out fine, it was delicious. Just imagine it's very fat green beans, OK?

One other thing: I usually roast beets wrapped in foil, but pressed for time, I cut them into 1" dice and roasted them direct on the baking sheet at 425. This is fine, but in small dice at high temp they will caramelize very quickly, and once you smell burning sugar, it's just a wee bit too late. Jeeps and I ate the really scorched ones and left the pretties for the photo shoot. It's all good really.

Golden Beet and Fat Green Bean Salad

  • 6 large golden beets
  • 6 ounces haricots verts, trimmed and cut in thirds
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot (from 1 shallot)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil, plus small leaves for garnish
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425. Peel and trim beets and cut into 1" dice.

Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, spread on baking sheet, and roast for 10 minutes. Shake the sheet to redistribute and roast another 10 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. (Alternatively you can wrap the beets in foil and roast for about an hour). Transfer beets to a large bowl.

Cook haricots verts in boiling salted water until bright green and crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to ice-water bath, and drain. Add to beets.

Mix vinegar, shallot, and mustard in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Toss with vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in torn basil and goat cheese. Garnish with basil leaves. I added some pine nuts as well. It's a salad, there are no rules.



Green Beans with Lemon Pepper Oil

The full name of this recipe (another from Fast, Fresh & Green) is "Provencal Green Beans with Lemon-Pepper Oil and Herbed Sea Salt." It sounds fancier than it is and I did not stay completely true to the recipe for a few reasons. 

1) The lemon-pepper infused olive oil sounded awesome, but my kids would not eat anything that spicy. Green beans are one of the surefire veggies that they will wolf down, so I try not to get too adventurous with them.

2) The herbed sea salt is made by combining the salt with lavender buds. I have no more lavender in my garden, but even if I did, I'm not sure it would go over well. The alternative was to use crushed rosemary, but Jeeps has a funny thing with rosemary.

So I will give you the full recipe here, but just know my version was green beans tossed with lemon olive oil and sea salt. They were perfect alongside some grilled apple sausages and pan-roasted red and blue potatoes. They'd also be great just as an appetizer.

The sausages, by the way, were served with cider-beer mustard made by my amazing friend Becky (who brought me the pyrex dishes full of barbecued chicken, potato salad, and love). We attended her family's incomparable Oktoberfest a few weekends ago, and I left her house with a ziplock bag of bratwurst and 3 darling little jars of cider mustard, cranberry mustard, and dill relish.

Provencal Green Beans with Lemon-Pepper Oil & Herbed Sea Salt

The lemon-pepper oil is made by combining 2 tbsp of olive oil with a tablespoon of lemon zest, and 8 grinds of the pepper mill. Make this first and let it sit for 15-2o minutes to let the flavors infuse the oil. The oil keeps well in the fridge so double or triple the recipe if you like and use it on grilled fish or any steamed vegetable.

The herbed sea salt is made by combining 1/4 tsp chopped fresh lavender buds or rosemary leaves, with 1/2 tsp sea salt. Use a coarse salt like fleur de sel.

Then you simply steam or blanch a pound of green beans until they are tender to the bite but still have their nice green color. Drain, let cool a few minutes, then transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle most of the lemon-pepper oil over them.  Sprinkle with some of the herb salt. Taste a bean and add still more salt if you like ("Be generous!" says Susie Middleton).

They went so fast I could barely snap a picture.

On the subject of lemons, its essential oil is a great thing to keep around the house. Jeeps likes to mix vinaigrette into hummus and add a few drops of lemon EO to make a really tasty salad dressing. Mixed with baking soda and vinegar, it makes a great all-purpose cleaner. And I love to use it when I make soap, especially blended with geranium and rose oils.

The team at has a great article about the benefits of using lemon essential oil. You can read it here.