This green bean cherry salad is topped with caramelized onions, crispy ham and crumbled feta cheese.
There are some things (like a screen door, new fridge and water softener) I’ve been able to convince Ulysses are worthwhile upgrades to make in our house over the past year but one that I’ve
failed miserably at for 6 years and counting is a garden.
All I want are a few raised beds with a 6 foot high chicken wire fence (to keep those hungry deer out). This really isn’t asking much (at least in my mind) but he’s adamantly refused to help get it up and running each year I bring it up no matter how I approach it (fresh organic veggies right in our backyard! all the savings in produce! the satisfaction of growing your own food!)
So, without one again this year, I do what most people do their entire lives…rely on mom.
My parents built a small little garden last year and this is the second year I’ve now reaped the benefits as well. Last year, they went to Alaska right as pretty much 90% of their tomatoes ripened (score!) and this year, they planted so many greens the two of them just can’t physically eat them all (score again!). So a couple of weeks ago, I gave her rosemary chocolate chip cookies and she gave me a huge bag of green beans. I might be the only person in the world excited about a green bean chocolate trade, but when you’re trying to get rid of 10 pounds, I practically threw them at her and said “GET THEM OUT OF MY HOUSE!”
This green bean salad is nice and salty from the crispy ham and feta with a sweet bite in every forkful thanks to the plumped tart cherries (which also pack an anti-inflammatory boost!) I beg you not to overcook the beans. We’re talking a quick blanch and sauté here people, no soggy beans allowed!
- Combine the cherry juice, water and dried cherries in a small bowl and set aside so the cherries plump up.
- Meanwhile, add the green beans to a large skillet with about 1/2 a cup of water. Cover, bring to a boil and let cook 1 minute. Drain the green beans, rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.
- Return the skillet to the stove over medium heat and melt the coconut oil in it.
- Once hot, add the onion and ham and let cook for about 10 minutes until the onions start to caramelize and the ham becomes golden and crispy.
- Pour half the liquid from the bowl with the cherries into the pan and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom with a wooden spoon. Let the liquid cook off (about 1 minute) and add the green beans to the skillet.
- Toss to combine, add the plumped cherries, season with salt and pepper and top with the feta.