Cherry Tomato, Green Bean, and Wax Bean Salad with Lavender Vinaigrette
Lavender lends its floral note to a red wine vinaigrette. The country bread croutons do double duty, adding crunch to the salad and soaking up some of the vinaigrette.
If using dried lavender use about 1/8 teaspoon; increase the amount for more flavor, tasting as you go. Do not use more than 1/4 teaspoon.
• 6 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 3-inch lengths
• 6 ounces wax beans, trimmed, cut into 3-inch lengths
• 1-1/2 cups coarsely torn country bread pieces (crouton size, about 3 ounces)
• 3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
• 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
• 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
• Kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh lavender blossoms
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (10 ounces)
• 1/2 cup chopped red onion
• Freshly ground black pepper
In large saucepan, add beans to rapidly boiling salted water. Cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans; plunge into cold water to cool. Drain beans well.
Preheat oven to 375°F. In small shallow roasting pan, toss croutons with
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon of thyme, and 1 minced garlic clove. Sprinkle lightly with salt; toast in oven until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In large bowl whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons thyme, garlic clove, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and lavender to blend. Add green and wax beans, tomatoes, and red onion to dressing; season with pepper. Toss to combine. Stir in croutons just before serving. Makes 4 main-dish or 8 side-dish servings.