bean there, done that

by Eva Felis on May 20, 2014


Mediterranean-style bean saladYou know what they say: if it tastes good it’s not good for you. These days the only exceptions seams to be chocolate, I am kidding, totally not, that’s what I need to believe. Let’s say there are two exceptions that prove the rule: the delicious Mediterranean cuisine is known for colorful vegetables, lots of omegas from fresh saltwater fish, plant-base proteins from beans, herbs and olive oil and red wine (here you go!). I am not so sure about the latter, but that’s ok.

Green beans have a bad reputation due to the not so much haute cuisine green bean casserole, which appears on every table in the US on Thanksgiving Day. I am talking about the canned mushroom soup version with French fried onion (are those even real food?). But green beans can do better than that, cooked until crisp-tender with flavor from garlic and olives and a hint of lemon.

Such as my imaginary grandma down there in the South of Italy would went to the farmers market and get the freshest ingredients for her dinner, I went to the grocery store and tried my best. I looked for the good olives, pitted but salty and firm, I picked the ripest tomatoes and the brightest green beans. But as it came down to the sourdough bread for the croutons, I had to compromise with store bought croutons and actually liked them. They put more oil on them, when I would ever dare and that’s a good thing. I bailed on the fresh herbs, because I thought I just use some from my herb garden and forgot about that I already harvested what I haven’t killed yet. And I also skipped the onion because I was going to share dinner with someone who couldn’t stand them. Damn it. If I were you I would go for red onions, just saying. I also was more than happy with just the lemon juice, more like a seasoning than a dressing. One of those dressings with anchovies would be great with this salad, if you insist on a dressing. Also Parmesan cheese would be a good substitute for feta.

Mediterranean-style bean salad

Mediterranean-style bean salad
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 2-4
  • 450 g / 1 lb. green beans (I used Blue Lake Beans)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • about 6 small tomatoes
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. pitted green olives
  • 4-5 Tbsp. crumbled feta
  • one handful croutons (homemade is best but store bought is fine)
  • 1 lemon, preferable organic
  • 1-2 tsp. clarified butter, ghee (or 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. olive oil) for frying
  1. Wash the green beans, trim the ends and cut into 5cm / 2inch. pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add beans and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water. Drain again and let dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add clarified butter and beans and cook for 4 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the beans to your salad bowl.
  3. Cut the green olives into thirds and the tomato into quarters. In a large bowl combine the fried beans, olives, tomatoes, feta, and croutons. Sprinkle with lemon zest and juice.



Mediterranean-style bean salad

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  1. Hi Eva, what an amazing salad, love all the different flavors going on here.

  2. I love beans, in a soup and in salads. And in your salad as well! This is a tasty mediterranean kind of a dish and I would love to enjoy it together with you and a glass of wine! Nicely done!

  3. I actually love eating green beans! It`s one of the vegetables I never mind eating, which is always good. I love that you added croutons into this dish.

  4. I also love green beans. Most of the time I even have a package with frozen beans in the freezer, just in case :-) And Mediterranean style food is something I am totally in, means your salad is also perfect for me!
    xo Eva

  5. Hello Ladies!
    Thanks! I am glad to be in such a good company! Green beans are so versatile!