I lied to you.
I am not making anything Eastern European this time. I have an excuse: to make something Eastern European, we always join with my Mom. She’s been planning to come over today, but it’s -18C/-0.4F outside and we had to cancel our cooking session. I could not believe it was so cold outside until I read about it in all news. Central heating is set to its fullest and we have blooming flowers all over the apartment, which sometimes makes Stano start to rummage in the wardrobe in search of his spring jacket because he thinks it’s warm outside 🙂
So, I’d like to post my recipe for a salad I made yesterday for my friends. I wanted something filling (that’s why I chose green beans and avocado) yet refreshing (the crisp and watery Chinese pear) and very green (arugula, my favourite salad plant!) and flavourful (black olives and blue cheese). Stano said he could not stay in the same room with blue cheese and ostentatiously lit an aromatic candle in the living room. What’s so wrong with blue cheese?! I love it in salad dressings. And I loved the Chinese pear. Of course I drizzled both the avocado and the pear with lemon juice, but anyway the pear kept very well without darkening at all. I also cut the avocado in larger slices, so it was my first avocado salad that didn’t come out mushy. Some of the ingredients can be made ahead: I cooked the beans the day before and sliced olives and crumbled cheese in the morning, so half an hour before the guests arrived, all I had to do was to slice the pear and avocados and assemble the salad.
P.S. Happy Valentine’s! My Valentine’s gift for Stano will be that I won’t take the remaining blue cheese out of the fridge today 🙂
700g frozen green beans
2 medium-sized avocados
1 firm Chinese pear
1/2 cup sliced pitted black olives
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
6tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/3 lemon
Salt to taste
Cook the green beans in boiling salted water until al dente and immediately rinse with cold water to stop cooking and enhance the colour. Chill to room temperature. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated)
Peel and cut each avocado lengthwise and then slice crosswise.
Cut the pear (unpeeled) into thin slices (using a mandoline would be a nice idea probably, but I don’t have one).
Drizzle lemon juice over the avocados and pears.
Assemble the salad by tossing green beans, arugula, and olives with three tbsp oil first. Adjust salt if necessary. Next, add pears and avocados, sprinkle cheese over the salad and drizzle with remaining oil.