Stewed Green Beans with Tomatoes

Braising the beans lends them a beautiful texture!

Ingredients:
1½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut in 2- to 3-inch lengths
1 cup grated or chopped peeled tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese for topping
Cooked pasta or grains, such as bulgur, quinoa, polenta or brown rice (optional)

Method:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a wide, lidded skillet or Dutch oven and add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook gently without browning, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute, until fragrant.

2. Stir in the green beans, tomatoes and half the dill. Add ½ cup water, bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until beans are tender. Stir in remaining dill and olive oil and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Serve hot, warm or room temperature, with feta sprinkled over the top. If serving as a main dish, serve over cooked grains such as bulgur, quinoa, polenta or brown rice, or toss with pasta.

Cucumber Melon Salad with Feta

A true homage to summer, this salad from The Splendid Table is cool, crisp and juicy.

Ingredients:
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1½ cups ripe summer melon, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
¼ cup mint leaves, torn
1 heaping tablespoon finely-chopped scallion tops
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon high-quality olive oil
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt, roll up the pieces in a double thickness of paper towel and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Unwrap and pat dry.

2. Rub a serving bowl with the garlic. Add the cucumber, melon, mint, scallions, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of oil. Gently combine. Season to taste with more oil or vinegar, salt and pepper.

3. Top with the crumbled cheese and eat immediately.

Charred Romano Bean Salad

This simple, satisfying salad courtesy of chef Michael Symon always gets rave reviews!

Ingredients:
1 pound Romano beans, ends trimmed
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup crumbled chevre cheese
¼ cup sliced toasted almonds
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Prepare a grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, build the hot coals on one side only. If using a gas grill, heat one side only to medium-high heat.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Romano beans and cook at a rapid boil until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beans to an ice bath, then dry on a kitchen towel.

3. Add the beans to a grill basket and place over indirect heat to char them slightly, about 5 minutes. You do not have to cover the grill. When they reach the char level you are looking for, transfer them to a serving platter.

4. Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard and oregano in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly, then season with salt and pepper. Pour the oregano vinaigrette over the green beans while still warm, then sprinkle with the chevre and almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Treviso Radicchio Salad with Feta

This is one of those salads that hits all four flavors—bitter, salty, sweet and sour, all in one bite.

Ingredients:
1 large head Treviso radicchio
¼ cup pitted dates
4 ounces feta cheese
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Method:
1. Separate the leaves of the radicchio and rinse and dry thoroughly, then chop the leaves into large chunks. Place in a large serving bowl.

2. Slice the dates into long slivers and sprinkle over the radicchio. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes, then drizzle the olive oil over. Squeeze the lime juice and crumble the feta cheese over everything, and grind pepper freshly from a pepper mill. Toss and serve immediately.

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