Cucumbers are the unsung heroes of summer salads. Hydrating, flush with anti-inflammatory properties, and perfectly crunchy, the green veggie is an excellent addition to lettuce-based bowls, tuna salad scoops, and classic Greek salad. But what do you get when you combine cukes with omega 3-rich walnuts? An explosion of health benefits and flavor.
In her newly released cookbook, Whole World Vegetarian ($14; amazon.com), James Beard and Julia Child Award winner Marie Simmons shares her simple yet delicious recipe for Tomato, Cucumber, and Green Bean Salad with Walnut Dressing. “In this summer salad, the walnuts are ground with garlic to make a creamy dressing before they are blended with the olive oil and vinegar,” writes Simmons. “This simple but distinctive dressing, which I first tasted at a Georgian restaurant in New York City, is easily adapted to your repertoire of summer salads.” Read on below for the recipe, which you can whip up for weeknight dinners or backyard bashes.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Green Bean Salad with Walnut Dressing
Makes 4 servings
1⁄3 cup broken walnut pieces
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp coarse salt
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1⁄2 lb green beans, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 large firm ripe plum tomatoes, quartered and cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced (lengthwise) red onion
1⁄2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1⁄4-inch slices
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1. Combine the walnuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor and blend until finely ground. If preferred, the walnuts, garlic, and salt can be pounded into a paste with a mortar and pestle. Combine the walnut mixture, oil, and vinegar in a salad bowl and whisk until blended.
2. Cook the green beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain well, rinse with cold water, spread on a dish towel, and pat dry.
3. Add the green beans, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and herbs to the walnut dressing and toss to blend.
Excerpted from Whole World Vegetarian, © 2016 by Marie Simmons. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.