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With summer comes the wonderful abundance of fresh garden produce. Green beans, cherry tomatoes and beautiful sweet Basil are popped into my garden basket; with these few ingredients I will make a salad that is enormously satisfying. Infusing the basil in the olive oil brings out its wonderful aromatic flavour, and together with the tomatoes provides beautiful summery notes to this gorgeous salad.
The salad may be served as a starter or as a light lunch, the latter served with some nice French baguette and a glass of crisp white wine.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a light lunch
2 cups of fresh green beans
½ cup fresh basil leaves
5 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes cut into half or into quarters
Flaked sea salt & freshly ground black Pepper – season to taste
Top and Tail the green beans then blanch them in boiling salted water; remove when they have turned bright green and are still slightly crisp (about 4-5 minutes), refresh in cold water. Cut the beans into three or four pieces and set aside.
Gently tear the basil leaves into small pieces; reserve a few leaves to use later as garnish.
Pour the olive oil in a pan, add the torn basil leaves and heat gently for about 1-2 minutes, until the basil begins to sizzle, change colour and crisp up slightly.
Place the chopped cherry tomatoes and cooked green beans in a bowl; pour over the basil infused oil with the gently sizzled basil leaves; season with flaked sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss together gently and leave for 15-30 minutes to allow all the flavours to infuse and for the basil infused olive oil to mingle with the tomato juices.
To serve: garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.