Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes & Olives
on May 15, 2023
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Green beans are the only greens you need in your next salad. With tomatoes and olives, this easy green bean salad is dressed with Italian vinaigrette. It also has shaved Parmesan, scallions and fresh herbs. And you can make it just 10 minutes.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This salad is quick & easy. The green beans cook in a few minutes before you dunk them in a bowl of cold water. Then you just have to whisk the dressing and drizzle it into the salad.
It doesn’t have any leafy greens. Of course there isn’t anything wrong with lettuce, but you don’t need it for every salad. The great thing about these kinds of salads is that they’re a salad and a side dish in one recipe.
This combination of ingredients is wonderful together. Blanching green beans brings out their flavor, but they are still mild. That’s why they’re so good with salty olives, juicy tomatoes and vinaigrette.
How to Buy the Best Green Beans
Even though you can buy green beans at the grocery year round, the season technically runs from about May to October. You will always find the best veggies at the farmer’s market. If you have access to one, I encourage you to shop there.
Green beans that are fresh will snap when you bend them. They shouldn’t have any brown spots on them either.
This is what you need:
- Green beans: I prefer using French green beans, also known as haricots verts. They are delicate and thinner than standard green beans or wax beans.
- Tomatoes: The recipe calls for a pint of grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. They can be red or a mix of red, orange and yellow. What’s most important is that they are ripe.
- Olives: A half-cup of roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives give the salad bites that are a little bit briny and salty.
- Scallions: Sliced, these green onions are mild and crisp. You can swap them for thinly sliced red onions.
- Parmesan: To get those thin shavings, I use my vegetable peeler on a block of Parmesan cheese. Pecorino would be a great substitute or even crumbled feta cheese. If you want to keep the salad vegan, skip the cheese.
- Parsley: I stir in chopped parsley, and if you happen to have fresh basil in your kitchen, tear some and add that too.
For the dressing you need:
- Garlic: Just one minced clove.
- Mustard: Whole grain Dijon mustard helps to emulsify the dressing and hold it together. It also adds flavor.
- Red wine vinegar gives the vinaigrette acidity. You could also use white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
- Honey adds a touch of sweetness to offset the acidity. You can use maple syrup instead, so the vinaigrette is vegan.
- Olive oil: Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper season the vinaigrette
If you are looking to add something else to the salad, these are all great options:
- Chopped hard-boiled eggs
- Nuts such as walnut, pine nuts or almonds
- Cooked grains such as quinoa, rice, farro or barley
How To Make this Green Bean Salad
1. Cook the green beans. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans. Simmer them for just a few minutes until they are crisp-tender and still have some bite. Then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large bowl of ice water to shock them and stop the cooking. The salt in the water keeps them bright green.
2. Combine the salad ingredients. Pat the green beans dry with a towel and put them in a big bowl with the tomatoes, olives, scallions, Parmesan and parsley.
3. Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, honey, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
4. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad, tossing to coat.
You can think of this salad as a side dish too, especially with spring and summer dinners like roasted Mediterranean vegetables and halloumi, grilled tofu shawarma or barbecue veggie tofu skewers. This is also a fantastic lunch salad on its own.
Leftovers & Storage
You can make the vinaigrette 3 days in advance. Just store it in a mason jar in the fridge. The olive oil will likely become solid because it will be chilled. If you put the dressing on your kitchen counter and stir it, it will warm up and become liquid again.
Since this salad doesn’t involve lettuce, it’s great for leftovers and won’t get so soggy. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 days. I do like to let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving, so it’s not as cold as it would be straight from the fridge.
You can also stretch what you have left into another meal by combining it with cooked grains such as brown rice, quinoa, farro or Italian barley.
You need to use fresh green beans for the best flavor and texture. Even though recipe calls for cooking the green beans, they end up tender crisp. Canned green beans will be too soft and lack the freshness that’s essential for a great salad.
They are harvested earlier than regular green beans, so they have a more flavor and a more delicate texture.
More Green Bean Recipes
More Salads Without Lettuce
Asparagus Cannellini Bean Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Fresh Corn Tomato Salad
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Mango Avocado Salad
Watermelon Radish Cucumber Salad
Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Vinaigrette
White Bean Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Lentil Salad
Asian Cucumber Salad
Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
Did you make this salad recipe? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!
Green Bean Salad Recipe
- For salad
- 1 pound French green beans haricot verts, trimmed
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/2 ounce shaved Parmesan about 1/4 cup
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- For vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the green beans. Simmer them for 2-3 minutes until they are crisp-tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them immediately to a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking. Drain them and pat the green beans dry with a towel.
- Combine the green beans, tomatoes, olives, scallions, Parmesan and parsley in a large bowl.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk the garlic, mustard, honey, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad. Toss them around, so they are lightly dressed in the vinaigrette.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe originally published August 20, 2020. Updated: May 15, 2023