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Parsley Pesto Dressed Romano Bean Salad


Reluctant to give up the last vestiges of autumn vegetables I recently bought a large bag full of Romano green beans. Many recipes you read using these wide flat beans with an Italian heritage allude to toughness and recommend a long cooking time, but I’ve never found I need to treat them any differently to round green beans. They will be deliciously tender after being cooked for just six minutes. The only real difference between Romano beans and any other green bean is the colour. Romano beans are a muted shade of green with a slight grey tinge, and even after careful cooking they lack the vibrance of their slender French cousins.

I tend toward the flavours and ingredients of salade nicoise when it comes to dressing up beans to make a salad, but sadly the tomatoes have lost their summer exuberance and the chilly nights have finished off my pot of basil. The parsley, still struggling to maintain it’s dignity in the cold begged me to finish it off so the large bunch I snipped became the basis for a delicious parsley pesto dressing for the beans.

The beauty of using parsley in pesto is that it doesn’t oxidise like basil. The fresh vibrant colour will linger on for days. It’s also delicious as a potato dressing, dolloped on chicken and fish or even on a humble cheese sandwich.

My finished recipe will generously fill a measuring cup and it freezes well.

Parsley pesto

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup walnut halves

Leaves and thin stems from a large bunch of parsley. (Save the thick stems for the stockpot)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

In the food processor, blitz the clove of garlic, then add the walnuts and process until roughly chopped. Add the parsley, process until chopped and then with the motor still running drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Parsley Pesto Dressed Romano Bean Salad

600g Romano beans trimmed and sliced

1//2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

2 heaped tablespoons of parsley pesto.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then add the beans and cook for 6 minutes.

Drain the beans then refresh in cold water. Drain then dry the beans on a clean tea towel.

Toss the beans, olives and pesto together and serve immediately.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

29 comments on “Parsley Pesto Dressed Romano Bean Salad

  1. Francesca
    May 21, 2015

    Lovely bean dish and a reminder that we don’t have to give up pesto – as the basil slowly fades from the garden , the parsley takes pride of place again.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 21, 2015

      To be brutally honest I prefer the fresh flavour of parsley pesto over the more traditional version from Genoa! It’s definitely a welcome fresh flavour over winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scotty, beam me up!

    Like

  3. love her ^^
    May 20, 2015

    Reblogged this on .

    Like

  4. Lily Lau
    May 20, 2015

    Need to try this salad for tomorrow lunch, and I think I have the ingredients! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

  5. tinywhitecottage
    May 20, 2015

    Romano beans are my favorite. I think they are meatier and much more flavorful than round green beans. And I can’t think of a better way to prepare them. I could eat parsley pesto by the spoonfuls and what a great idea to toss it with Romano beans! And what a nice finish using kalamata olives…I love this! Not sure when I’ll see Romano beans but no doubt when I do what I’ll be doing with them. 🙂 Of course this would be wonderful with the regular green beans too…

    Like

  6. Glenda
    May 20, 2015

    Sandra, I am feeling deprived now. I have never seen those beans here in the West. Would you believe we had for dinner the last of my bean crop?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 20, 2015

      Romano beans are a variety definitely worth looking out for, very tasty, quite “meaty” I think they must be late cropping because they’ve only been in the greengrocers for the last few weeks

      Like

  7. MamaD1xx4xy
    May 19, 2015

    Lovely looking salad. I used the last of my frozen pesto last night and now all the fresh herbs are coming in again. I will have to look out for those beans, they look fun and sound delicious.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2015

      I think Romano beans might be a late autumn crop, but the parsley pesto would be delicious on tender young French beans too..

      Like

  8. Eha
    May 19, 2015

    Have just been for a look-see with Mr Google ’cause these look way wider than the ones I can usually buy! And they supposedly also come in yellow and purple: OK, homework ahead again! The parsley pesto and kalamata olives would really add heaps of flavour . . . have to search, buy and try!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2015

      Eha, Romano beans are about 3cm wide, 20cm long and very flat. The flavour is superbly beany. I hope you’re able to find them to try..

      Like

  9. cheergerm
    May 19, 2015

    I haven’t seen any of those beans in these here parts. Love their pretty green colour against the fab wooden bowl Mrs R. Super.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2015

      Thanks Cheery, everything looks good in that bowl, it’s an old favourite.

      Like

  10. Are these Romano beans similar (or the same) as we in the UK call runner beans? They are favoured here, sometimes over their smaller, round French cousins. They are easy and beautiful plants to grow with gorgeous scarlet flowers. You are right about that oxidising with basil. Pesto and salsa verde made with it needs to be made and eaten right away. Have frozen basil pesto (minus cheese), but can see that parsley pesto might do better – a more resilient herb!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2015

      Debi these are twice as wide, about 3cm, quite flat, but the flavour is similar, much tastier than their round cousins. The seeds inside are reasonably large too.

      Like

      • Sounds exactly like runner beans! Yes, they do have a bit more flavour than French beans.

        Like

    • StefanGourmet
      May 22, 2015

      On the picture it looks like runner beans to me. However, when you boil our runner beans for just 6 minutes, they will ‘squeek’ unpleasantly when you eat them. Unless of course you add baking soda to the cooking water to raise the pH. Perhaps your water has a high pH naturally, Sandra? I like the combination with parsley ‘pesto’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • StefanGourmet
        May 22, 2015

        PS high pH means lot of calcium in the water aka hard water

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        May 22, 2015

        Romano bean are a distinctly different variety to runner beans, they are much larger, and stringless. The flavour is similar though. Melbourne has very soft water…..

        Like

      • StefanGourmet
        May 24, 2015

        Our runner beans are quite large (about 25cm/10″ long) and stringless. We call them “snijbonen”, slice beans, because they are usually eaten sliced diagonally into 4 mm (1/6″) strips.

        Like

      • Thanks for the baking soda tip. Yes, they do squeak! The parsley pesto sounds like a perfect accompaniment (+ the olives, of course!).

        Like

  11. Nancy |Plus Ate Six
    May 19, 2015

    I prefer parsley pesto over basil to be honest. Although an Italian friend of mine used to tell me off for calling it pesto – she considered it a culinary sin a bit like calling sparkling wine champagne. I’ve never tried freezing it though – great tip.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2015

      Isn’t it good that as Aussies we are no bound up by rigid rules and traditions, that we have the freedom to just cook and eat good food and not care too much what you call it……

      Like

  12. Fae's Twist & Tango
    May 19, 2015

    Absolutely gorgeous salad, as simple as it looks. I love green beans in the simplest form, let alone it is made so flavorful like this. I remember your salade nicoise. I should learn more about it.

    Like

  13. Gather and Graze
    May 19, 2015

    What a coincidence! I bought some of these flat beans (for the first time! out of habit, I usually go for the round ones) at the markets on Saturday… we had half of them last night… and now I know what to do with the other half! Sounds delicious Sandra.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2015

      I think they must be a later variety. Love the extra beany flavour…

      Like

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