My friend and local gardener – Ronnie, over at TilthyRich has harvested a beautiful variety of fresh beans. On occasion he likes to stop by my place to tend to my outdoor plants. I have no green thumbs over here. And, he is a welcome sight when my plants are drooping. Today I picked up some Blue Lake, Cherokee wax and Purple King beans from him. They were literally picked moments before I buzzed his door.

My gardner Ronnie at TilthyRich

I’ve decided to make a salad with them. I love Green Beans Almondine – but wanted to translate that idea into a salad. In general when I’m making a fresh bean salad I don’t like to add vinegar to the blanched beans as it discolors them from the acid. So I decided to add the vinegar through the form of pickled onions. And, add the almonds in as a sauce. All the work here is in prep. Otherwise it is a super simple recipe to make. If you have any questions about growing green beans or anything in your garden just ask Ronnie.

The fresh beans and some spicy arugula from Ronnie’s garden.

Fresh bean and pickled onion salad with almond sauce

1-pound green beans or a combination of fresh beans
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 stalk of celery, sliced thin
Parley leaves
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
2 ounces whole almonds
1 small clove garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of half a small orange

For the pickled onions;

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegars, water, salt and sugar together. Add the onions and set them aside for about an hour.

Sliced red onions. And, in the foreground my vintage Wustof wooden handled knife.

For the beans:

Top the beans, and parboil them in salted water until tender. (If using a combination of fresh beans parboil them separately as they may take different times to cook). Drain and spread them out to cool on a dry towel. The Purple King beans loose their color when blanch – sad face here.

To make the almond sauce:

Preheat oven to 350*

Spread almonds on a baking sheet and heat until toasted about 5 minutes. Allow them to cool.

Pound the garlic in a mortar until smooth. Remove and set aside.

Add the almonds to the mortar and pound to a paste.

Toasted almonds in mortar.

Return the garlic and pound in the oil. Add the zest and salt to taste. Let this sit for about 30 minutes to develop its flavor.

Almost finished almond sauce.

To assemble the salad:

In a bowl add the green beans, pickled onions and celery. Toss them with some olive oil and add salt to taste. Plate the bean salad and surround it with dollops of the almond sauce.

Fresh bean and pickled onion salad with almond sauce

Serves 4