Put surplus green beans to work in this simple, yet tasty, salad
And then that moment arrives when the green beans are piled so high at the markets, and being sold at such a low price, that you feel like you'd be a fool not to pick up a pound or two or five. I mean they are practically giving them away for free. (And if you have a garden, then you may be trying to give away a pound or two or five.)
So you bring home that hill -- or mountain -- of green beans, and you have to figure out what to do with them.
Sauteing some green beans in a bit of olive oil and butter and then finishing them off by adding some water or broth to the pan and steaming them -- that's the way I go most of the time. Quite delicious, with a nice dusting of salt and pepper, and they go with everything. After a few days though, my family starts to look at me with flickers of boredom in their eyes. And I still have mountains of beans to climb.
That's where bean salads come into play. A great late-summer, early-fall way to put those beans to use. Not to mention bean salads are portable, picnic-worthy and can be made ahead of time.
This one is so simple -- really just beans with a vinaigrette. A day in the fridge will deepen the flavor.
If you wanted to go for a warm bean salad, skip the ice-water bath and cook the beans for about 5 minutes until still crisp tender. Drain and toss the warm beans with the vinaigrette, then let cool slightly. The beans will continue to soften a bit as they cool in the vinaigrette, so make sure to drain them before they are too tender.
Creole mustard is a coarse, stone-ground mustard, zippy and with a nice, nubby texture. Once this ingredient becomes part of your pantry, it will never not be there. Any Louisianian will tell you, don't you dare make a rémoulade sauce without it. But if you wanted to use a coarse Dijon, that will also work just fine (just don't shoot your mouth off about it down South).
• Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook." She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman. She can be reached at Katie@themom100.com.