Put surplus green beans to work in this simple, yet tasty, salad

  • Honey Creole Mustard Green Beans is a great way to put those late-summer, early-fall beans to good use.

    Honey Creole Mustard Green Beans is a great way to put those late-summer, early-fall beans to good use. Sarah Crowder for Associated Press

 
Posted9/6/2017 6:00 AM

And then that moment arrives when the green beans are piled so high at the markets, and being sold at such a low price, that you feel like you'd be a fool not to pick up a pound or two or five. I mean they are practically giving them away for free. (And if you have a garden, then you may be trying to give away a pound or two or five.)

So you bring home that hill -- or mountain -- of green beans, and you have to figure out what to do with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sauteing some green beans in a bit of olive oil and butter and then finishing them off by adding some water or broth to the pan and steaming them -- that's the way I go most of the time. Quite delicious, with a nice dusting of salt and pepper, and they go with everything. After a few days though, my family starts to look at me with flickers of boredom in their eyes. And I still have mountains of beans to climb.

That's where bean salads come into play. A great late-summer, early-fall way to put those beans to use. Not to mention bean salads are portable, picnic-worthy and can be made ahead of time.

This one is so simple -- really just beans with a vinaigrette. A day in the fridge will deepen the flavor.

If you wanted to go for a warm bean salad, skip the ice-water bath and cook the beans for about 5 minutes until still crisp tender. Drain and toss the warm beans with the vinaigrette, then let cool slightly. The beans will continue to soften a bit as they cool in the vinaigrette, so make sure to drain them before they are too tender.

Creole mustard is a coarse, stone-ground mustard, zippy and with a nice, nubby texture. Once this ingredient becomes part of your pantry, it will never not be there. Any Louisianian will tell you, don't you dare make a rémoulade sauce without it. But if you wanted to use a coarse Dijon, that will also work just fine (just don't shoot your mouth off about it down South).

• Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook." She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman. She can be reached at Katie@themom100.com.

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