This Cold Italian Green Bean Salad is a refreshing and healthy side dish that’s perfect for family gatherings. The combination of green beans, sweet cherry tomatoes, and pungent red onions creates a satisfying flavour and texture profile. The addition of garlic, parsley, and mixed dried herbs infuses the salad with a zesty and herbaceous aroma. The dressing, made with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, complements the fresh vegetables perfectly and adds a touch of tanginess too. This side dish is easy to make, and it’s an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats, fish, or pasta dishes.
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Why Green Bean Salad Is a Perfect Side Dish For Any Time of Year?
Green beans are a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed all year round. This Cold Italian Green Bean Salad is a perfect side dish that you can add to your menu rotation, regardless of the season. Here are some reasons why:
- Nutritious: Green beans are a low-calorie vegetable that’s packed with nutrients like fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Versatile: Green beans can be prepared in many ways, including boiled, steamed, sautéed, or roasted.
- Easy to make: This recipe is simple to make and requires only a few ingredients. It can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, making it a perfect side dish for busy weeknights or potlucks.
- Seasonal: Green beans are in season from late spring to early fall, but you can find them at the grocery store all year round. This recipe can be adapted to use fresh or frozen green beans, making it a perfect side dish regardless of the season.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- green beans: washed and trimmed.
- cherry tomatoes or baby plum tomatoes: halved.
- garlic clove: minced.
- red onion: finely chopped.
- parsley, finely chopped: you may use other fresh herbs, like chives or coriander.
- olive oil: extra virgin.
- balsamic vinegar: if you won’t have any balsamic, try making the dressing with red wine vinegar.
- mixed dried herbs.
- salt and black pepper, to taste.
Here are a few flavour variations you can try for this Cold Italian Green Bean recipe:
- Lemon and Dill: Instead of balsamic vinegar and mixed dried herbs, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and chopped fresh dill for a zesty and herbaceous flavour.
- Feta and Mint: Add crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh mint to the salad for a salty and refreshing twist.
- Garlic and Mustard: Use minced garlic and Dijon mustard in the dressing instead of balsamic vinegar for a pungent and tangy flavour.
- Tomatoes and Basil: Replace the cherry tomatoes with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and use fresh basil instead of parsley for a Mediterranean-inspired flavour.
- Roasted Red Pepper and Capers: Diced roasted red pepper and chopped capers are both a great addition to the salad for a sweet and salty flavour combination.
- Honey and Thyme: Swap balsamic vinegar for honey in the dressing and add fresh thyme leaves for a sweet and herby flavour.
How To Prepare Green Beans?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare fresh green beans for the Cold Italian Green Bean Salad recipe:
- Wash: Rinse the green beans under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Trim: Cut off the stem end of the green beans using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Leave the tapered end intact.
- Blanch: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are tender but still slightly crisp.
- Shock: Drain the green beans and immediately transfer them to a large bowl filled with ice water (“ice bath”). Cold water will stop the cooking process and help to retain its vibrant green colour.
- Dry: Once the green beans are cool, remove them from the ice water and pat them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Cut (optional): If you prefer, you can cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces before adding them to the salad.
Method: How To Make Italian Green Bean Salad?
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the trimmed green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are tender but still slightly crisp. Place them in a bowl of iced water. Alternatively, drain the green beans and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the halved cherry tomatoes or baby plum tomatoes, minced garlic, finely chopped red onion, and finely chopped parsley.
Add the cooled and dried green beans to the bowl and toss gently to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mixed dried herbs, salt, and pepper to make the balsamic vinaigrette.
Pour the vinaigrette dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.
Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve the Cold Italian Green Bean Salad chilled, garnished with additional parsley if desired.
Can I Make Green Bean Salad Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can definitely make this Cold Italian Green Bean Salad ahead of time! In fact, it’s a great dish to prepare in advance as it allows the flavours to mend together and intensify over time.
How To Store Leftover Salad?
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. The flavours will continue to develop over time, making it even more delicious!
Watch How To Make It?
What To Serve Green Bean Salad With?
Italian green bean salad goes very well with a range of pan-seared, roasted or grilled meats, like pork chops, baked chicken thighs, roast beef or slow-cooked lamb. But we particularly like it with fish. Try it with:
Other Side Salad Recipes
We love making cold salads over the summer months. If this cold green bean salad isn’t what you were looking for, maybe we can tempt you with:
- Summer Pesto Pasta Salad with Pine Nuts
- Persian Shirazi Salad
- Courgette Ribbon Salad
- Italian Potato Salad (recipe coming soon)
Cold Italian Green Bean Salad
- 200 g green beans trimmed
- 200 g cherry tomatoes or baby plum tomatoes halved
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ red onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon mixed dried herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the trimmed green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are tender but still slightly crisp. Place the beans into a large bowl of iced water. Alternatively, drain the green beans and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the halved cherry tomatoes or baby plum tomatoes, minced garlic, finely chopped red onion, and finely chopped parsley.
- Add the cooled and dried green beans to the bowl and toss gently to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mixed dried herbs, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.
- Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the Cold Italian Green Bean Salad chilled, garnished with additional parsley if desired.