Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic, and Parmesan

Fresh green beans, blanched and toss with a balsamic vinaigrette, red onions, basil, and Parmesan.

To save time, while the water is coming to a boil, prep the other ingredients.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans, cut to 2 to 3 inch long pieces
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (or shallots)
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Place the chopped onions in a small bowl of water. This will help take the edge off the onions. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (2 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the green beans to the water and blanch only for about 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp. Fresh young beans should cook quickly. Older, tougher beans may take longer. While the beans are cooking, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the beans are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and the red onions.

3 Place the green beans, red onion, and chopped basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle in the balsamic and Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chill until ready to serve.

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Comments

  1. Shibi

    Thank you for this recipe and for the tips about green beans. On our eastern slope of Mt. Davidson in SF, we planted bush beans this year (with very low expectations). Well, they are taking off and we will enjoy making your salad very soon! (We are on Kauai right now, visiting… and I’m sharing your recipes with my parents. We made your chicken thighs with honey and dijon last night and the dish was a huge hit!)

  2. Charlene

    Now you’re making me seriously regret not planting green beans this year. Last year I spent as much time picking beetles as I did beans. Dear Girl, you are directly responsible for our renewed appreciation for this humble vegetable. Your Mexican Green Bean Salad is a favorite here. Now, I have to try this one and the Mexican Three Bean Salad I found as a result of this post. I love the tip to toss the beans with oil before adding vinegar. And while I am singing your praises, let me add that your blog has just the right amount of intro and pictures for each recipe.

    Thanks Charlene! ~Elise

  3. Christie

    I refuse to plant beans in the garden until my kids are old enough to pick them! I spent hours as a kid picking beans in my mom’s garden- it only seems fair. Hopefully I can find some fresh beans at the market to try this recipe- I love balsamic and parmesan, how could it go wrong?

  4. Lisa

    This looks absolutely wonderful! My basil has done extremely well this season and I have been looking for new recipes to use it. Thank you, as always, for inspiring me to try new things!!

  5. Kristen @ The Balanced Bowl

    Your plants look so healthy! Our weather in Pennsylvania has made my few vegetable plants struggle this year.

    Thanks for posting the green bean recipe. I have been in a rut with preparing them the same way (but still delicious!) all summer and needed a fresh idea. I came to the right place!

  6. Marita

    I got a bunch of Romano beans in my CSA last week and used them in this recipe. I threw in some toasted pine nuts and left out the red onion because I didn’t have any on-hand. The balsamic vinegar made the whole thing look a little muddy, but the taste was delicious. Thanks for a great, easy recipe!

  7. Rheannon

    Wanna know what just took this recipe up another notch of deliciousness? Toasted pine nuts! I threw a few walnuts in, too. ;). Great, fresh recipe!

  8. Emilyn

    I made this with your honey mustard chicken for supper tonight and my family raved about both! I love your website; I’ve haven’t found another that has such consistently great recipes. Thank you for existing. :)

    Thank you for your kind words Emilyn! So glad the recipes worked for you. ~Elise

  9. Chrissy

    I found if I steam the beans from my garden they cook better. Keep the flame on just until they start to “smell” then shut off the flame and let the pot sit unopened for a couple of minutes. This way they don’t overcook. Just open the lid check the snap and if done drain the water.

  10. Christian Gehman

    It’s fun to put a balsamic reduction glaze on the green beans … that said, these days I am beginning to suspect that the “Balsamic” trade may be more than a bit like the olive oil trade — it may be a bit hard to be sure of what you’re getting.

  11. Tammy

    Hi this recipe sounds great, I can’t wait to try it! I am quite the newbie when it comes to cooking anything with balsamic vinegar or anything semi-gourmet ;) Can you recommend a decent vinegar to buy at the grocery store or specialty type store? I read a few articles about the whole aging process and commercial vinegars, and the difference with them, but I guess I wonder if there is one or two that you might recommend for the ‘average’ cook. Or maybe it doesn’t really make that big of a difference?
    Thanks, I enjoy your site tremendously!!

    Hi Tammy, for cooking vinegars, any balsamic will do, don’t go for the fancy ones. But for drizzling over tomatoes or for dipping fresh baked bread, nothing beats a well aged balsamic. They’re pretty pricey though, the older, the more expensive. Those balsamics might cost you $30 to $100 a bottle and you usually can only get them at a specialty store. ~Elise

  12. Tyra

    My future mother in law made this last night. It was a fantastic addition to dinner! Just printed out the recipe to go into my binder, it is a keeper for sure! Bright, fresh, and tasty… perfect summer time recipe.

  13. Christine

    Got some gorgeous beans and a nice, brand new, sweet red onion from the farmer’s market this morning… add that to the pot of basil I have growing outside…perfection! This was absolutely delicious.