Recently I was planning a menu for a summer dinner party, when I came across a Martha Stewart Everyday Food green bean recipe. It became my inspiration for this dish. Being summer, green beans and tomatoes are readily available at the Farmers’ market and so deliciously divine.
The recipe wasn’t perfect yet. It looked good, but I thought it could be so much better. I removed a little bit of this….feta and added a little bit of that….quinoa, and came up with my own adapted version below. Now if you are making this on the weekend and are following my “weekday vegan” approach, feel free to add a touch of feta cheese or even burrata if you please. But don’t go crazy and ruin a perfectly healthy plant-based dish with LOTS of cheese. Just a sprinkle. And if you don’t love quinoa like I do, try a different whole grain like millet, bulgur, or barley. That’s why I love cooking so much. You can follow the concept of the recipe in front of you, but personalize it to your liking.
When you blanch the green beans, don’t skip the step of dumping them into a bowl of ice water. It’s important to stop the cooking otherwise, your once beautiful bright green beans will become over cooked and turn into a dark green vegetable mush. No one wants to eat mushy green beans. If you do not have ice, running the beans under cold water will work too.
Plating this dish is fun. I like to use my rectangular platters, but a round or square plate would work just as well. You can even serve this dish on individual plates for your guests. This salad is so colorful, it’s hard to make it look bad! Be creative and have fun with it!
If you have leftovers or do not want to platter this salad, make it a “chopped’ salad! Chop the green beans and all of a sudden you had a more casual salad to take on a picnic. I even like to make the “chopped” version and fill a whole wheat pita with hummus and this salad. It becomes a completely different meal! Have it for dinner as a salad, and then as a pita sandwich the next day. Who said leftovers are boring!
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and sorted
- ½ cup dried quinoa, rinsed
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, add dried chickpeas and enough water to cover, about an inch.
- Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid.
- Simmer until chickpeas can be pierced with a knife, between 1 to 3 hours. Occasionally check and stir. Add water if necessary.
- If you wish to skip this step entirely, substitute the dried chickpeas with 1 BPA-free can of chickpeas.
- In a smaller pot, add dried quinoa, and 1 cup water.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered until the germ tail has spiraled out, about 10 minutes.
- Drain any excess liquid. Set aside to cool.
- While the chickpeas and quinoa are cooking, add the trimmed green beans to a pot of boiling water.
- Cook beans until crisp-tender, about 2-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add to a bowl of ice water to quickly stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil.
- In a large bowl, toss together the chickpeas, quinoa, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, and lemon dressing.
- Season with salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator.
- On a platter, lay the green beans in a row to follow the shape of your platter.
- Spoon the chickpea mixture on to the green beans.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.