I served this dish over the holidays for a dinner party that included 10 kids on the guest list. I was looking for a sophisticated salad that would appeal to both the adults and children. I’ve adapted this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis’ book Giada at Home. Her recipe, Pecorino and Bean salad, has been one of our favorites. With the addition of crunchy snap peas and arugula, along with a bit of spicy red pepper, this was a hit with all ages at my New Years Eve dinner. I love the crunch of the snap peas and green beans. Giving the beans a quick shock in an ice water bath after blanching, helps retain their vibrant green color and fresh flavor. Bite sized chunks of pecorino give the salad a salty twist, perfectly matched with the creamy cannellini beans. I know your family will love this salad as much as we do.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 12oz fresh green beans, snipped
- 8oz fresh snap peas, strings removed
- 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup bite sized chunks pecorino cheese
- 2 oz baby arugula (a couple of big handfuls)
- pinch of red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how much of a kick you like)
- Kosher salt & pepper
Heat the olive oil in a small fry pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute, being careful not to brown or burn it. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and toss in the chopped rosemary. Stir and set aside to cool.
Fill a 4qt saucepan with water, add a hearty pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set near your stove. Once the water comes to a boil, drop in the green beans. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the beans are bright green but still crunchy. Remove using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, and plunge into the ice water bowl. Allow to cool in the ice water for a couple of minutes, then lay the beans on a dish towel or paper towels to drain and dry. Repeat the process with the snap peas.
Place the snap peas, green beans, cannellini beans, arugula and pecorino in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with the rosemary garlic oil and season with the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. You won’t need much salt as the pecorino is salty. Toss the salad together and serve.
* This recipe doubles nicely and is a great salad to serve when entertaining, as it tastes best at room temperature.