- Mar 05, 2018 -
Ideally, young, fresh green beans should be just cooked after a minute or two. Cooked, but crisp. (If you find yourself with a batch of green beans that are tough and old, and refusing to become tender, save them for cooking in a soup.)
Here’s a tip. Green vegetables when cooked for seven minutes or longer, or exposed to acid like lemon juice or vinegar, will turn a drab olive color.
That’s why if you want green beans that stay green, cook them 6 minutes or less, and then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. If you add vinegar, do so after you’ve coated the beans with oil.
1 Soak chopped onions in water: 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 Blanch the green beans: 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.
3 Shock in ice water: 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.
4 Toss with red onion, balsamic, Parmesan: 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.