Oh my goodness this salad is so simple and so so awesome! I adjusted a couple of tiny things to make it even easier…thanks so much to Smitten Kitchen – enjoy!
1 lb. green beans (the skinny ones, haricot vert, are the best here), trimmed – parboiled in salted water for about 3 minutes, rinsed in cold water and drained well
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced AND 1 T. lemon juice
1 or 2 celery stalks, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1/2 c. + whole, dry roasted and salted almonds AND 2 T. + olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
2 t. EACH sugar AND kosher salt
1/4 c. EACH red wine vinegar AND water
The reason this came together so easily is that I prepped some of the bits ahead. Parboil the beans ahead and have them cooling in the fridge – I actually did this the day before while I was doing other things in the kitchen. Doing the onions the day before is also highly recommended – place all pickled onion ingredients in a glass bowl with a good lid and mix well and put these in the fridge too – though if you only have 30 minutes to let them sit, Deb says that should do. You can also have the fennel and celery prepped and sliced quite a ways in advance as the fennel is getting tossed in the lemon juice to keep it bright.
Now, if everything is ready to go, heat up a non-stick skillet, add in the oil and fry the almonds until they’re crisp and starting to pop a titch – hot and very crunchy means they’re perfect!
To assemble the salad, toss the green beans, lemon dressed fennel and celery together with a couple of tablespoons of the pickled onion juice. Portion prettily on individual plates, and then sprinkle on pickled onions and hot olives. You’ll wish you’d made more!