Green beans are so often an afterthought, seemingly included only to add a bit of green to a plate dominated by protein and potatoes. Not so here: the natural sweetness of green beans plays off the acidity of the dressing, the smokiness of the roasted tomatoes, and an extra kick from the raw red onions to make this a salad second to no main. Serve it with grilled lamb and tkemali plum sauce, Trout with cilantro-walnut sauce, or alongside Ajaran khachapuri.
Green Bean Salad with Peppers and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1.5 lbs. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces.
2 Tbsp. oil for frying (olive, grapeseed, canola, or other)
3 mild chili peppers (such as poblano, Anaheim, or Italian frying peppers), chopped into thin 2-in. strips
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup walnut or extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
A few grinds of black pepper
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh cilantro leaves
Thinly sliced red onion
1. Arrange a rack in the top slot of the oven and preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Boil the green beans until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain in a colander and run the green beans under cold water or place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
2. Heat the oil for frying in a saute pan. Add the onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, under crisp tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more, until very fragrant. Remove from heat.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomatoes on it. Broil about 5 minutes, turning once, until the tomatoes blister and begin to fall.
4. Make the dressing: whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl.
5. Mix the green beans, onions and peppers together in a medium bowl. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Top with roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and very thin slices of raw red onion.