There is nothing in this salad that is specific to summer, but for some reason, that's the only time I ever think to make it. There's not a whole lot to it, but it's delicious and, I think, pretty - especially if you can find a nice red/purple onion. Speaking of which, does anyone know why they are getting paler and paler over the years? Not only that, but they used to be more flat on the top and bottom. Now I can almost always only find them around the size of a softball! I much preferred the old shape. It made nice even slices. Now it's like when you open a navel orange and find a baby orange inside - half the times, the outer layers are whole, but then the center splits into two bulbs. Oh well.
1 lb string beans
1 pint grape tomatoes
sliced red onion
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Wash, stem, and cut your string beans into bite-sized pieces. Depending on how long they are, that will be two or three pieces each. Drop the pieces into boiling water for about two minutes, then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. You want them to be crisp-tender and retain their nice color, so don't cook them for too long.
When it comes to the tomatoes, I like to cut them so you don't stick a fork in one and get squirt in the eye! For visual appeal, I like to cut some cross-wise and the rest length-wise. Season the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper, then slice some of the onion, about the same size as the string bean segments.
For the dressing, just whisk together 3T olive oil with 3T red wine vinegar. I like Good Seasons Italian Dressing on this too, so if I've made a batch recently, I'll sometimes use that. Toss the tomatoes, onions, and olives with the string beans, pour the dressing over the top, and chill. I usually use the canned large black Lindsay Olives in this particular recipe, but I wanted to get some peppers at the olive bar to go in another dish I was making for dinner tonight, so I decided to try the kalamatas for a change.
This salad is nice as a side if you're grilling burgers, or sometimes I'll have a bowl for lunch.