Yellow Bean Salad

Even though fall is one of my favorite seasons, I am not ready to give up summer yet, so I’m extending it as long as I can. I turn an eye when I see a swath of golden leaves, I ignore the winter squash I see overtaking the zucchini at the farmer’s market, and I pay no attention to flicking on the lights when I get up in the morning. Still, the sign for the apple orchard is now up, it’s nearly dark when I get home around 7:30, and I’ve pulled out my knitting for future winter projects. But I’m still going to do what I can to extend summer just a little bit longer. And when I received this recipe in my email a few weeks ago, I knew it was just the tonic.

Heidi Swanson began her blog, 101cookbooks.com, a few years back, which in turn has become two cookbooks, Super Natural Every Day and Super Natural Cooking. Her photographs are beautiful and her recipes are healthy, easy, and exotic but without the fuss. When I read through the recipe, I had my doubts as to how the flavors would meld together, but there was no need for worry; the garlic, cilantro, and coconut milk mixed together blend well with the yellow beans and tofu. There seemed to be a shortage of yellow beans in the past few weeks, but I luckily found some at the last vendor I checked at the farmer’s market. Try making this with the last round of this season’s yellow beans, or save the recipe for next August. It will be worth the wait!

Yellow Bean Salad
From Heidi Swanson’s, 101cookbooks.com

1 pound yellow beans
1 serrano chili pepper
5 green onions, green parts reserved
A big handful of cilantro
1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
¾ tsp. sea salt
1 TBS sunflower oil
1 c. coconut milk
1 ½ TBS lemon juice
½ c. toasted pepitas
1 ½ c. tiny pan-fried tofu

1. Cut the beans into 1 inch segments on the bias. Add to boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Run under cold water, drain, and shake off all excess water.

2. Place the chili pepper, onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, and oil in the blender and chop. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice to taste.

3. Place beans in a bowl with tofu. Toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with the reserved green onions.

Cook’s Notes:
• 
I left out the pepitas and it was still tasty.
• Instead of a serrano chili, I used a jalapeno, which gave it a bit more heat and zip.
• This is one of those instances where less is more; I had a lot of leftover dressing for another use. Just a little bit over the beans and tofu was perfect.
• I was told by the eater of the house that the beans were too “raw.” They didn’t bother me, but if you want them a bit on the soft side, but boil them longer than 30 seconds. A minute or two should do it.
• And of course, if you have tofu-loathing people at your table, you can always serve it on the side, or not at all.

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