Thai-Inspired Green Bean and Mango Salad

With easy ingredients that takes seconds to prepare, this salad takes the four dominant Thai senses—sour, sweet, salty, bitter—into a simple, but flavorful, side dish.

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Thai Green Bean and Mango Salad

1 pound (454g) green beans, ends trims
1 unripe green mango, thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons (45mL) finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons (30mL) unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon (15mL) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5mL) toasted sesame oil (get the really good stuff. Trust me.)
1/8 teaspoon (1mL) garlic powder
Salt to taste
Red chili flakes
Toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, under tender crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans, putting them into the ice water. Drain and set aside.

Put the mango, red pepper, red onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the green beans and toss to combine. Put the vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic powder, a few shakes of salt, and a sprinkle of chili flakes in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Toss with the green bean mixture, coating well. Let sit at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds, adjusting seasoning to taste before serving.

Roasted Green Bean and Arugula Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

Still picking those last-of-the-season cherries? Think past dessert and try this vinaigrette instead. They add just the right amount of sweetness to the smokiness of the roasted green beans (which, by the way, are also great on the grill).

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Roasted Green Bean and Arugula Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

For the vinaigrette:
2/3 cup pitted cherries
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Zest from 1 small orange
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

For the green beans: 
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Sprinkle fine sea or Himalayan salt
Sprinkle of fresh ground pepper

For the salad:
12 ounces baby arugula
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons hemp seeds

To prepare the vinaigrette, put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Add additional agave nectar if you’d like it sweeter. Refrigerate until needed.

For the green beans, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the  green beans on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, stirring halfway, until the green beans begin to brown and becoming tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Put the arugula and onion in a large serving bowl. Toss with the green beans. Add the vinaigrette — you may not use it all, just use how much you’d like. Taste for seasonings then sprinkle with hemp seeds. Serve at room temperature.

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