Green Bean, Chickpea & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad with Feta & Olives

I have been
a big zero in the kitchen for the last couple of weeks.  I'm not saying that good meals haven't been hitting the table here, it's just that the well is dry in terms of creative menu ideas. For me, cooking inspiration is like a roller coaster with highs and lows. I finally quit fighting it and just embrace the ride as it comes. 

When the ideas are bubbling, I run with it.  When I'm drawn to tried and true favorites I embrace it. When I feel the need to be creative and try a new idea, so be it. And when my mind goes blank, I look at recipes in places like internet searches, cooking apps, TV shows and cookbooks.  I just keep looking until something catches my eye.

A few days ago I had a package of green beans I needed to use.  I love green beans, but so many times they don't come out just the right texture. They are easy to over or undercook, and I dislike it when they lose their color. The recipe below I found on Mealime. It is meant to be served as a full meal vegetarian salad.  My husband prefers meat, so I used it as a side dish along with chicken breast, and ate the leftovers for my lunch over the next couple of days. This salad was easy, had a great flavor and looked great plated. 

The only gripe we both had was the green beans were overly crunchy compared to the other ingredients in the salad.  I roasted them for the time suggested, and was nervous to do go longer as over roasted green beans aren't great, so you'll need to play with the roasting time a bit. You could even steam or stir fry the beans if you like. 


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Green Bean, Chickpea & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad with Feta & Olives
2 full meal servings, 4 side servings


2 oz                Crumbled feta cheese
1                     15 oz. can garbanza beans, drained and rinsed
1                     Clove Garlic
6 oz.               Multicolor grape tomatoes
1/2 lb.             Green Beans
1/2 bunch        Regular or flat leaf parsley
1/4 C               Pitted Kalamata olives
1/2                   Lemon - zested plus juiced
6                      Sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed
Salt and Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions - 

Preheat the oven to 400°F and position rack in the centre. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse the green beans. Trim ends, halve cross-wise, and transfer to the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 T olive oil and season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast until lightly charred, 10-15 minutes.

Rinse the chickpeas and set aside to drain. Peel and mince the garlic. Grate zest from the lemon. In a large bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, 1 T olive oil, 1/4 tsp each salt, and pepper.

Wash the tomatoes and parsley. Halve the tomato lengthwise and add to the bowl. Shave the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems, chop the leaves, and add to the bowl. Halve the olives and add to the bowl. Thinly slice the sun-dried tomatoes and add to the bowl. Stir in the chickpeas, green beans, and feta. Toss to coat.

To serve, place salad on a plate and enjoy!