String Bean Salad with Ricotta Salata and Lemon
Old-fashioned green bean salad, a perennial staple at summer picnics and barbecues, gets a delicious makeover here with the addition of ricotta salata, a salty Italian sheep’s milk cheese.
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) yellow wax beans, trimmed
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) green beans, trimmed
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 to 3 Tbs. lemon-infused olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
- 2 Tbs. crumbled ricotta salata cheese
Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan and fill the pan with water up to but not touching the bottom of the basket. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans to the basket, cover and steam until just crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. The green beans should be bright green.
Transfer the beans to a large salad bowl. Add the tomato, sprinkle with the olive oil and lemon zest, and toss to mix. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, a small grinding of pepper, the basil ribbons and the cheese. Toss again to combine and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti (Weldon Owen, 2011)