Making Cucumber & String Bean Salad with Olive Tapenade Dressing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,723
    Chef Amy Riolo demonstrates how to make a cucumber, string bean and olive tapenade.

    Amy Riolo: Hi! I am Amy Riolo and I am working in the kitchen today at Sur La Table in Arlington, Virginia. And I am making dill and feta stuffed turkey burgers with cucumber, string beans and olive tapenade salad. So let's begin by blanching our string beans. The first thing that we are going to do is have a pot of water which is boiling rapidly. Then we are going to add a little bit of kosher salt to our water, just to season it. Then we are going to add in our beans. You can use regular beans, string beans, French haricot vert, whatever you prefer, it's okay. We are just going to let them cook for about two to three minutes until they get tender. As soon as they tender we are going to remove them from the water and place them in a bath of cold water. Now well our beans are boiling we can go ahead and make our tapenade for the dressing in our salad. And what we are going to need to do that is a quarter of cup of petted black olives. The Gaeta brand or the Kalamata work really fine. You want to have something that's nice and flavorful. So now we will add our olive oil. The word tapenade comes from an ancient provincial word, Tapena, which means to cover. And this has been something that's been around since antiquity, very common dressing in the province region of France. I just added our two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. And we have to add a little bit of salt, not too much, because remember the olives have brine in them. So we don't need very much, and a little bit of freshly ground pepper. And then I will just put the food processor on and whisk everything together. So that looks fine now. And just to recap I have used about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Which you can do it to taste or to texture. And it will depend a little bit on the brand of the olives that you use. But when you want to have is this kind of a texture right here where it is not completely a paste. It's still a little bit more liquid than a paste. This is going to work absolutely perfectly for dressing, and I have got my string beans which have just finished blanching. So I am going to take them out of the boiling water, and put them right into a bath of really cold water. And this is just going to shock them and make them stop cooking and that way they won't be hot when we add them to our salad. So it won't affect our cucumbers at all. You want them to be still little bit crunchy. So here are olive oil, string beans. And now we've got them in the bath and we've cooled them down. We can just transfer them into another bowl. So if you ever see blanching in a cookbook, you will know what they are referring to. This is a great salad. It has a lot of color, it has a lot of flavor and it's interesting. I think a lot of times when we make a burger, we think about serving with fries and so that already sets this up because you have to have something that's high in carbohydrate and then you have to have something that's fried. So if you can think about something else that's really interesting and has a lot of different flavors to it and a nice visual presentation to take the place of the French fries, that's half the battle, and it's going to have interesting too instead of always just the same lettuce and tomato and cucumber. So I am just now drying these off because we want them not to be too wet because we want our tapenade to be able to adhere to them. So now I am putting these on top of our cucumbers. And just to recap, these are two cucumbers which I have cut in half length-wise and scooped out the seeds and then I have diced them. And it's a very rough dice, you can see. You can do whatever you are comfortable with. And then we have our green beans, and now I am going to add in our tapenade. This is so simple but it's really good, and in addition to serving it with these burgers it will taste great with a grilled meat or you could add leftover meat to this salad, and may be some croûtons, and you would have kind of like a meal type of a salad. I am just going to add just a little bit of salt and you can taste it, and see if you need more salt or freshly ground pepper. So there we have it. And in the next segment I will be making our dill and feta stuffed turkey burgers.