Products featured in this post were PR gifted. I do not receive any portion of sales if you happen to purchase this product. Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not represent Dang Foods.
I’ve never been a big fan of green beans. The texture is fairly weird, they’re tasteless, and just…not good. Unless, of course, they’re inside of a Thanksgiving casserole covered in cheesy sauce. But I can’t be eating green bean casserole as often as I’d like. Additionally, I tire of my usual green staples: broccoli and asparagus. Ya girl needs some variety! Enter: Asian-Style Green Bean Summer Salad.
Cold green beans, drenched in a sweet, tangy vinaigrette, topped with mandarin oranges, crunchy almonds, and Dang Foods coconut chips. It’s a lot going on at once, but in the best kind of way.
When Dang Foods approached me to create a recipe for their new line of toasted coconut chips, I was immediately on board. I love to create unique recipes, and I have a penchant for all things coconut. These chips are perfect for topping smoothies, Acai bowls, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. But, they can be used for so much more. Because it’s July, I decided to create something refreshing and light. Not to mention, 75% of my friends are vegetarian, which means I need a summer potluck dish appealing to all diets.
Asian-Style Green Bean Summer Salad is the perfect potluck dish, or quick veggie side to whip up for weeknight dinners.
(For another great potluck option, try my recipe for wrapped & stuffed dates. Crowd. Pleaser.)
There’s a few secrets to make this salad different than any other. The first secret to this green bean salad is that it’s COLD. Yep. A chilled green bean salad. No soggy hot greemgreems (as I called them in my toddler foodie days) around here. The second secret is the vinaigrette. Loaded with seven different flavors, it has depth, tang, sweetness, AND umami. Thus far, it’s my favorite salad dressing I’ve ever created. Finally, the third secret is to blanch the green beans.
“Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water or oil, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process. Blanching foods helps reduce quality loss over time.” – Wikipedia (I only use the best of resources, can you tell?)
This simple technique preserves the color of the vegetable, as well as the nutrients. Have you ever wondered why restaurant-prepared vegetables look vibrant, but your at-home vegetables look like they came from an expired can? B-L-A-N-C-H-I-N-G Babaaay. I learned this technique at a cooking class at Sur la Table, and I’ve found it so useful. If you have a Sur la Table in your area, I highly recommend investing in a class or two. (My next goal is their croissant class! So intimidating!)
Blanching only takes one extra step, and results in cooked but firm green beans, that look straight off the vine. It also cuts your cook time in half, which is nice. Boil the beans for 4 minutes, dunk in an ice bath, and you have green bean perfection. This method ensures your Asian-Style Green Bean Summer Salad comes out crisp and cold, instead of warm and mushy.
Can we talk about coconut for a minute?
Just one minute. Coconut is seriously underutilized outside of desserts and curry. Coconut belongs pretty much everywhere. The coconut chips I received from Dang Foods were certainly the inspiration for my cold salad. (I single-handedly finished off an entire bag PLAIN, as a snack, before even attempting to develop a recipe…so…there’s that.) I tossed in some toasted almonds too, adding a touch of smoke to the flavor profile. Veggies don’t have to be boring, and this salad sure proves it. I’m excited to hear what y’all think.
Asian-Style Green Bean Summer Salad
- 1 lb Fresh Green Beans
- 1 14 oz Can Mandarin Oranges in syrup
- 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds (chopped is fine)
- 1/2 Cup Dang Foods Lightly Salted Coconut Chips
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 TBS Rice Vinegar can also use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. If using plain white vinegar, only use 1 TBS.
- 1/4 Cup Mandarin Orange Syrup
- 1 TBS Soy Sauce can add more to taste
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Blanch the Green Beans
- Prepare a large mixing bowl with half ice, and half cold water.
- Slice off the tips of each green bean, and throw into a pot of salted, boiling water. Let cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Immediately drain the water from the green beans, and drop them into your bowl of ice water. Keeping the beans in the ice water, set aside.
Toast the Almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking oil, sprinkle almonds over pan, and spray the almonds as well. Bake for 7-10 minutes, shaking the pan at the halfway mark to turn the almonds. They should be golden brown, if you notice them starting to smell, or turning dark, take them out of the oven immediately.
Prepare the Vinaigrette
- Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together in a glass measuring cup, or a small bowl. The ingredients will separate as they sit, so be sure to stir it before using.
Put your Salad Together
- Drain all the ice water from the bowl of green beans. Toss the beans with half the vinaigrette.
- Put the green beans in a serving dish, layering the beans, toppings, and vinaigrette one by one. Example: layer of beans, layer of oranges, layer of coconut and almond, pour vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately.