Basil-Strewn String Bean Salad

(Inspired by Peddling Through Provence)


Basil Vinaigrette:


3 cloves garlic, peeled

  C olive oil

3 T. fresh lemon juice

1 C loosely packed fresh basil

tsp. sea or coarse salt




Bean Salad:


1 lb. green beans, sliced lengthwise if thick

1 C imported black olives, pitted and                

 coarsely chopped

1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 large ripe plum tomatoes, or other diced

3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

C slivered fresh basil

6 anchovy fillets, drained, finely minced


Vinaigrette.  Combine garlic, basil and salt together in workbowl of  food processor, or with mortar and pestle.  Slowly add lemon juice and olive oil and mix well.  Let stand while making salad.


Salad.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add beans, and cook just crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes.  Immediately drain and plunge into ice water bath.  Drain again when cool. 


In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives and anchovies.  Stir in the beans and fennel.  Add the vinaigrette and toss all together to coat thoroughly.  Stir in the shredded basil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Chill the salad for a few hours to mellow the flavors. 


Just before serving, stir in the chopped eggs.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Note:  Can substitute anchovy paste into vinaigrette for the anchovies in the salad if desired.