I had been hearing my mom and sister talk about this salad for years but, somehow, I must have missed every family event at which it was served because I still had never tried it. Finally, one day, I was there at the right time and got my chance to taste it. This salad definitely lived up to all of the hype. In this recipe, crisp green beans, sweet corn, and perky cherry tomatoes are tossed with a unique dressing made with orange juice, fresh herbs, and spicy chipotle chilies. It is topped off with croutons which add an interesting texture to the dish. Chipotle chilies can be found dried or in cans in adobo sauce. I prefer to use the latter because they require less work to prepare and have a stronger flavor. This is a colorful and festive side dish fitting for any summertime barbeque or picnic.
Not-Your-Typical Potato Salad
Summertime Green Bean Salad
Salmon with Dill and Lemon
Strawberry Shortcake


1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (thawed if using frozen)
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce), minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed italian parsley
1 shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 to 3 cups plain croutons (preferably homemade - see cooking tips below)

Cooking Instructions

In salted boiling water, cook the green beans until crisp tender (about 5 minutes). When cooked, transfer to a bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking process. Drain the green beans well and pat dry with paper towels (You want to make sure the vegetables are quite dry when you add the vinaigrette so it doesn't get diluted.) Place the green beans in a large bowl with the corn and cherry tomatoes.

Combine the chipotle pepper, garlic, vinegars, orange juice, herbs, shallot, and salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the olive oil and blend until the dressing is smooth. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

5 or 10 minutes before serving, stir the croutons into the salad (that way, they don't lose their crunchiness.)

Makes 6 to 8 servings



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For a special treat, make your own croutons. Take a few slices of good, crusty bread and cut into small cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and toast in a 350 degree oven, stirring frequently, until lightly browned all over. If you are making these a day ahead, transfer the croutons to a plastic bag for storage after they have cooled completely.

The dressing in this recipe is delicious on other foods including leafy green salads, roasted potatoes and fish.

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