215: Summer Salad for Sixteen

With green beans, red and yellow tomatoes, purple olives, and feta cheese, this salad is a cacophony of color, especially if you serve it on an obnoxious striped plastic picnic platter, like I did for my grandmother’s 80th birthday party.

But seriously – this really does serve a crowd, and is prettiest when spread out, so plate it on a bigger platter to avoid the towering effect I ended up with.

Summer salad 2

Recipe for Summer Salad for Sixteen (PDF)
Recipe 215 of 365

Save this one for when you need food to go, for a big picnic or a barbecue. Cook the beans up to two days ahead, and chill. Transport the beans, tomatoes, olives, feta, capers, and dressing in separate containers, and build the salad just before serving.

TIME: 40 minutes
MAKES: About 16 servings, as part of a larger picnic

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 generous pint mixed baby tomatoes (all colors)
1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives, halved
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup drained capers

Cook the beans (in multiple batches, if necessary) in a large pot of boiling salted water, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beans are bright green but still al dente. Refresh under cold water and spread on paper towels to dry and cool.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: whisk the mustard, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl (or whirl in a blender or food processor). While whisking, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, and whisk until completely combined.

Arrange the beans on a large platter. Drizzle about 3/4 of the dressing over the beans, then top with the tomatoes, olives, feta, and capers. Top with the remaining dressing, and serve at room temperature.

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Filed under recipe, salad, vegetables

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