I mean, it was good – it was just that the finished salad turned out to be one, tiny step away from your average salt lick in sheer NaCL content.
I blame the vinaigrette – that LAST 1/2 teaspoon of salt was more than likely what pushed it all over the edge.
Or, it coulda been the teaspoon of salt sprinkled over the toasted pine nuts.
OR, perhaps that generous sprinkling of sea salt into the cooking water for blanching the haricot verts…
I think you begin to see the problem.
Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?
We had leftover corn from Sunday evening’s grilled corn on the cob and teriyaki steak dinner, and, by happy coincidence, I just happened to have a salad recipe calling for grilled corn cut from the cob – how convenient!
The original recipe called for corn cut from the cob (check!), lightly cooked green beans (haricot verts in the freezer, check!), grape tomatoes (ermmm, no – but I can fake it with English cucumber), chopped fresh basil (right there in teh garden! – and I may as well add a bit of fresh parsley while I’m at it); all dressed in a combination of bottled Italian dressing and Dijon mustard.
No worries – I had a nice-looking mustard vinaigrette from a green bean salad recipe I’d been meaning to try – and, hey!, it had green beans, the original recipe had green beans -add some toasted pine nuts and it’ll all work out, right?
Roasted Pine Nuts:
•1/2 cup pine nuts
•1 tsp coarse salt
First, let’s do the pine nuts. You may recall I’ve been a bit leery of using them since reading about pine nut mouth resulting from (it’s thought by some) unscrupulous manufacturers mixing inedible pine seeds in with those tasty little nuts – but – finding a packet of dry roasted pine nuts at Trader Joe’s, I thought I could mebbe give ’em a try again.
Dry roasted or not, I wanted to concentrate the flavor a bit, so tried an Alton Brown method for toasting them in the ‘wave:
Rinse 1/2 cup of pine nuts in a fine mesh strainer and toss with 1 tsp kosher salt. Pop ’em in a brown paper bag, fold over the top, and ‘wave on high for 60 to 90 seconds. Set aside to cool.
I should note that they tasted fine – nicely dusted with salt, but not too, too salty.
Now for the vinaigrette: my rice vinegar substitute for the lemon juice wasn’t all willy-nilly. Knowing that I hadn’t enough lemon, I consulted da Google for a likely replacement, and da Google said I could use half as much white vinegar for the lemon juice and it could work. Another trip through the keyboard opined that rice vinegar should be a fine substitute for white or cider vinegars, but you need to double the amount. ERGO – three tablespoons of lemon juice equals three tablespoons of rice vinegar. Right?
Irregardless, combine the lemon juice (or rice vinegar), mustard, and salt together with the basil and parsley – I was using my immersion blender, so just tossed the freshly torn herbs into the beaker, if you’re going to make this old-school, chop them finely first.
Blend or whisk together, then stream in the olive oil while still whisking or blending, until well combined.
Now for the salad:
Add the haricot verts to well-salted, boiling water and cook for three or four minutes, just until they’re still crisp and bright green. Rinse under cold running water to stop them cooking, and set aside.
Combine the haricot verts with your grilled corn, chopped scallion, sliced English cucumber, and toasted pine nuts together in a serving bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over all and toss.
WHEW! Salty! Still, I added a dab o’ my new favorite Thousand Island dressing and it helped – a bit.
So, all the parts seemed fine on their own, where did I go wrong?
I blame the da Google.