Summertime in the South means that peaches, green beans, field peas and okra are abundant. I was looking for a dish to contribute to a July 4th celebration. As I often do, I browsed through the Saveur on-line edition for inspiration and happened on a beautiful recipe for a green bean and peach salad. This version closely follows the Saveur recipe, but with a few variations, of course.
Lately, I have been shopping regularly at Clemons Produce. They carry a good stock of locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables. On this occasion I picked up snap beans from Plant City and Cooley Farm peaches from South Carolina. Both were incredibly sweet. Perfect for the planned salad.
Preparation is simple. The beans are trimmed and cooked in salted, boiling water for about 5 minutes. In the meantime the peaches are sliced and sautéed in olive oil with shallots, oregano, thyme and one datil pepper for a lithe bit of spice.
To finish, the beans and peaches are tossed with a simple vinaigrette. This recipe makes a side dish that can serve 8.
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 3 large peaches, sliced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 datil pepper, minced (Jalapeño can be substituted)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
- 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Fill a large saucepan with water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. When the water reaches to a boil add the trimmed green beans and cook for 5 minutes, or until “tender crisp”. Remove the beans from the water and immerse in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot and cook for 2 minutes, or until the shallots become translucent. Arrange the sliced peaches in a single layer and top with oregano, thyme and datil pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn the peaches and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
- Whisk the remaining olive oil with vinegar. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Toss the green beans and peach mixture with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Serve at room temperature.