Plum & String Bean Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Plums are so amazing right now and well, string beans will always be string beans. But the crunch and freshness of the organic farm grown version go so well with the sweetness of the plums and nutty pecan flavor. Cheese is always optional with my recipes but in this case the salty creamy fatty ORGANIC goat cheese goes well with all the crunch. 

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Herbs are a must at my house. So adding fresh herbs makes the dish especially gourmet and full of nutrients. Use any herbs you want. I chose parsley and basil. 

In fact, you can choose any nut and any cheese as well. Or instead of cheese you can use avocado for a vegan version.

For this salad, it's important to not throw the whole thing together with the vinaigrette. You will want to layer this salad. Delicately. Don't make ahead. Keep everything separate in bowls until ready to serve. This helps keep the salad gourmet and the delicate flavors in tact. 

The vegan dressing is especially wonderful. You can use any vinaigrette you like but this one is lovely with these salad ingredients. 

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SALAD

2 c blanched string beans, chopped

1/2c chopped herbs

2-3 plums, sliced into pieces, core removed

herbs {i chose basil and parsley}, finely chopped

organic goat cheese

pecans, toasted

To blanch beans, boil thin layer of water in a sauce pan. Add beans. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Keep tossing them as they "cook". Then strain and rinse them in a strainer full of ice. This helps keep the crunch and bright color. Keep them on ice. 

Chop herbs and cut plums.

Toast pecans at 350 degrees F for 5-8 minutes. Until dark and crunchy.

DRESSING

2 small oranges, juiced

1 T wine vinegar

1 T rice vinegar

1 tsp balsamic

2-3 T olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 T chopped white or yellow onion

1 squirt / 1/2 tsp agave

Mix the above ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender.

Combine the beans with 1/2 cup of the dressing/vinaigrette. Let sit while you clean up or prepare the rest of everything. Let them marinate for about 30 minutes. 

On a place, set a think layer of the marinated beans. Add slices of plums. Add goat cheese and then herbs and top with toasted pecans. Sprinkle a little of the dressing {that's at the bottom of the bowl that the beans were marinating in} over the salad. 

Enjoy! And makes a great lunch. Dinner or side dish.