One thing that I didn’t realize about bloging when I first started this one a couple of years ago was that there is an entire blogging community. I didn’t anticipate that by blogging I would become so compelled to read others’ blogs, admire their work, become friends with them and find inspiration in them as well.
Of course, the blogs I read on a regular basis are ones that I look up to and find pleasure in following; however, in the effort to find what I think are great blogs, I’ve also come across some interesting ones… It’s great that people are cooking, creating and putting it out there, but if I’m totally honest, sometimes I do wonder where exactly people are coming from.
A while back, I read the title of a post that was ‘Greek Green Beans’. Instantly I envisioned bright crisp green beans, loads of salty feta and tart Kalamata olives. When I clicked through what I found were sad, dull, overcooked green beans in some sort of tomato sauce! This is why I ask so many questions when I eat out because you say one thing, and as a person who loves food I have a vision, so I ask questions to know exactly what I’m getting into. Needless to say I was disappointed with what may have been more authentic Greek green beans, but didn’t live up to my vision – do I decided to make my own.
It was exactly what I wanted. Crisp and fresh, creamy and salty and tart. I dressed the beans in a lemon vinaigrette with fresh oregano and shallots. The textures and colors are marvelous and every bite is loaded with flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean. I also roasted a chicken with lemon and olive/oregano butter under the skin to tie it all together. Just delightful. And let me tell you, the fact that whenever you roast a chicken, you get to make GRAVY which is kind of like a little Thanksgiving treat any time of the year.
Greek Green Beans:
- 16 oz green beans
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tbsp shallot
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- olive oil, about 1/4 cup
Bring a pot of water to boil. Trim the ends of the beans and blanch until slightly tender but still crispy, no more than 5 min. Meanwhile prepare an ice bath, and then beans are done remove from boiling water and place in ice bath.
While the beans cool, mix lemon juice, vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until thick, emulsified, and as tart as you like it. Mix in shallot and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
When beans are cool, remove from ice bath and blot dry. Toss with dressing in the bowl. Pile bean on the serving plate and top with feta and olives.
Roasted Chicken: same prep as here. Add lots of oregano and finely chopped olives to the butter.