Warm Greek Bean Salad

This is more Greek inspired than it is a Greek dish. I wanted something to complement my ‘Stolen’ Lamb and Potato Packets and given it was a cold wintery Adelaide Hills night a cold salad was not going to cut it.

The most actual cooking you’re going to do here is boil the kettle and pop a few tomatoes on an oven tray. The rest is just some artless assembly – the salad doesn’t even need tossing.

Here you will find most of the usual suspects in a Greek salad: tomato, crumbly feta, kalamata olives, extra virgin olive oil and oregano, but I’ve replaced lettuce with warmed green beans. You could also top the salad with some fresh chunky-cut Lebanese cucumber if you wanted to cut through the saltiness, particularly if you opt to be heavy handed with the olives and feta. I have a particular preference for the multicoloured cherry tomato medley packs you can buy now but you can really use whatever tomatoes you want. A little Jamie Oliver trick is to salt the tomatoes generously and leave to rest a little before roasting to draw out the juices. The tomatoes taste sweeter when you do this.

WARM GREEK BEAN SALAD

Serves 2 as a generous side

This is salad, not chemistry: adjust measurements as you please. Quantities given below are a guide.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g green stringless beans, trimmed
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 80g kalamata olives
  • 80g Greek style feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200C.

Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle over salt, pepper, oregano and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil.

Bake tomatoes for 15 – 20 minutes or until they start to colour but still hold their shape. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. You want them to be warm on your salad.

Boil a kettle of water. While the water is heating up, place the beans in a salad bowl.

Pour enough boiling water to just cover the beans and allow to stand about 2 minutes or until the colour of the beans intensifies. Drain the beans and dry the bowl fore retuning the warmed beans to the salad bowl.

Drizzle another tablespoon of oil and the vinegar over the beans and toss a couple of times to cover. Add the olives and crumble over the feta before topping the whole lot with the warm roasted tomatoes.

Give a last drizzle with the remaining oil and sprinkle with a pinch of extra dried oregano before serving.

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