Green Bean-Citrus Salad with Dill Pesto & Ricotta Salata

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I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. It’s been a busy one on this side of the internet with lots of things happening all at once. 

Not only has it been a busy summer but it’s been a very hot one too! So, I can’t wait to tell you about the salad in today’s post – it’s cool and refreshing, the perfect foil to steamy summer days – but first a little detour…

As I mentioned, there is a lot going on. Chief among them is that I am now a gypsy. A number of months ago, I moved out of my home and started the process of purchasing a new home. Sounds great? Well, hold off on any congratulations, cause there’s a wrinkle (why are there always wrinkles?).

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Oh yeah, I almost forgot the Green Bean-Citrus Salad. This dish was an accidental discovery.

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There were dill and parsley in the fridge and cashews in the pantry…the idea of pesto was born. There were green beans from the previous night’s dinner. There was ricotta Salata for creaminess and salt. There were oranges– which is all we needed to add a little brightness and acid to the dish.

And shock beyond shock, we loved it! It’s a great balance of flavors. And especially delish when served ice cold. Refreshing, light and bright.

NOTE: Since first making this dish, we’ve tested out a variation using diced roasted beets. It was even better. The beets added a layer of yummy sweetness that helped to round out the sharpness of the oranges. And it was pretty!

GREEN BEAN-CITRUS SALAD & DILL PESTO

Ingredients:

  • 1 TSP salt
  • ½ pound fresh green beans, washed with stem ends removed
  • ½ cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 TBL fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup walnut halves
  • One clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Two large oranges
  • ½ cup (or more) Ricotta Salata, crumbled with your fingers

Recipe:

  1. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 7-8 minutes. Drain well; cool immediately in iced water to stop the cooking process. Once, beans are chilled drain well, pat dry with a paper towel and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add dill, parsley, chives, cheese, walnut halves and garlic and process until all ingredients are finely chopped. With motor running, add oil and blend until incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Carefully, remove individual orange segments with a knife. Cut each segment in half. Before discarding the orange membranes, squeeze them over the bowl of green beans to extract their juice.
  4. In large bowl containing green beans, add half of the dill pesto, orange segments and Ricotta Salata. Toss to incorporate. To suit your taste, add more dill pesto and crumbled Ricotta Salata.
  5. Chill salad to allow the flavors to meld together.
  6. Serves 4 (as a side).

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