Two Bean Pasta Salad

Summer is still in full swing around here: ocean water as warm as a bath, pavement so hot you can fry an egg (not really, I tried), and backyard gardens that are struggling to stay alive. Two things that my garden continues to produce in this heat are green beans and basil. And this light, refreshing, and hearty salad features them both. Along with a few other healthful ingredients, such as chickpeas, this easy, Italian-inspired pasta salad is a nod to the extended dog days of summer.
By / Photography By The Naked South | August 27, 2015

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest for serving
  • 1–2 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • ½ pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 (14-ounce) BPA-free can chickpeas, drained
  • 1½ cups cooked elbow macaroni (I used brown rice pasta)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted if desired
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  • Chopped basil, for serving

About this recipe

*Key Components*

Raw apple cider vinegar is an ingredient I use over and over. In fact, it's almost the only vinegar I use. But in order for this to be superior (for health reasons) to other vinegars, it needs to be raw and unfiltered. Raw, rather than pasteurized, contains enzymes that support your immune system and digestion, among other things. Plus it tastes really good.

Green beans are a healthy summer staple. They contain antioxidants (including vitamin C and beta-carotene) that provide cardiovascular benefits, as well as a small (but not insignificant) amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, the high amount of phytonutrients found in green beans provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Green beans lose nutrients when cooked for extended periods, so stick with raw, a quick sauté, or steam them (like in this recipe) and avoid canned.

 

Did you know that pine nuts come from pine cones? It's a very tedious process that explains the exorbitant cost. I don't use pine nuts very often because of their high price, but they are really quite delicious in this recipe. And, like all nuts, they’re high in healthy fats, antioxidants, B-complex vitamins, and essential minerals.

Instructions

  1. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add shallots. Let shallots marinate while preparing green beans.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place green beans in a steamer basket suspended over boiling water. Steam until just tender, about 3–5 minutes. (Or leave green beans raw, if desired.) Immediately transfer green beans to ice water to cool. Drain beans, dry with paper towels, and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Add green beans, tomatoes, chickpeas, pasta, and pine nuts to large bowl with dressing and shallots. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with cheese and basil.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest for serving
  • 1–2 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • ½ pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 (14-ounce) BPA-free can chickpeas, drained
  • 1½ cups cooked elbow macaroni (I used brown rice pasta)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted if desired
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  • Chopped basil, for serving
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