Green beans, tomatoes and goat cheese make for a simple summer salad

My kitchen counters are covered with so much produce that my roommate finally said something to me this morning. I know, I know — I have too many overly ambitious kitchen projects going on right now. And every time I walk to the farmers’  market, I pick up a few new things, such as a cantaloupe and a neon yellow canary melon that are just taking up more space. They smell so good, but what single gal really needs two melons? Well, maybe just me.

I’ve been busy trying to use up all the produce the past few days — by canning pickled dilly green beans and a spicy peach salsa, and mixing together cool tomato gazpacho for lunches and a lemon blueberry cake that I’ll likely freeze. I have plans to can a sweet pepper zucchini relish tonight, and hopefully I can make a tomato and cheese galette for dinner, since fruit flies are starting to attack the excess tomatoes on the cluttered counter.

Yes, I’m crazy. I’m absolutely loving the summer produce and want to make the most of it. One simple salad that takes advantage of this bounty is Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Almonds, from Southern Living. It’s quick to toss together, and incredibly healthy too. I’ll eat it as a main dish, but it could also be a great side. And I imagine you could add other veggies that are taking up space, if desired.

I simplified the salad for dinner last night, by just drizzling olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the veggies.

Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Almonds

  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 3 T. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. Cook green beans in boiling salted water to cover 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.
  3. Whisk together vinegar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended and smooth. Add cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and green beans; toss to coat.
  4. Top green bean mixture with crumbled goat cheese and toasted almonds.

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