Starring fresh green beans, cherry tomatoes, and a quick cilantro sauce, this mouthwatering vegan summer salad is easy to make in 20 minutes.
Sometimes all you need are some fresh herbs and spices to bring out the natural flavor of fresh seasonal vegetables. This recipe takes green beans and tomatoes to another level by adding a simple dressing you can make in minutes in a food processor.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's super flavorful yet only requires 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper).
- You can make it in under 30 minutes.
- It pairs well with everything from sandwiches and burgers to pasta and other cold salads.
The list of ingredients you will need is relatively short. Besides fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes, you will need the following for the dressing:
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh cilantro: If you're someone who doesn't care for cilantro, don't worry. You can use fresh parsley or basil instead.
- Lemon juice: A little acid livens up the sauce.
- Olive oil: Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can, but you don't need to spend a lot. Costco's Kirkland brand organic EVOO is highly rated and a staple in my kitchen.
- Salt and pepper: Start with a little, then taste and add more, if needed.
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Trim and blanch
Blanching, or lightly cooking the beans, is a great way to ensure they stay bright green and crisp. No one wants soggy gray beans in their salad.
First line up the green beans up on a cutting board and trim the stem ends. Then prepare an ice bath by placing cold water and ice cubes in a large bowl and set aside. Now you're ready to blanch the beans:
- In a large pan, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil. You want enough water to just cover the beans. Add the whole trimmed green beans to the pot. Allow them to cook for about 2 minutes until they are bright green. Do not overcook the beans.
- Quickly remove the beans from the water with kitchen tongs and place them in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Allow them to cool completely before making the salad.
What makes this salad really special is the flavorful cilantro sauce. It's made like pesto in a food processor, but with cilantro instead of basil.
Place the ingredients in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until a sauce is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. You should still be able to see small bits of herbs in the sauce.
Making the salad
Slice the cooled beans into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Then add them to a large bowl with the cherry tomatoes and cilantro sauce, toss well, and serve.
Change up your salad by adding fresh corn, olives, or walnuts. The sauce can also be served on rice, pasta, or other vegetables.
This salad works well with both hot and cold dishes. You can enjoy it with pasta and warm bread. (I recommend Bread SRSLY gluten-free vegan sourdough from San Francisco which I like to order online and keep in the freezer.)
Or try it with your favorite summer grilling recipes at picnics and potlucks. I also like to make it a meal with other salads like the Greek Vegan Potato Salad and Mediterranean Cannellini Bean Salad shown below.
Storing and freezing
Leftover salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing it.
Nothing! Green beans, string beans, and snap beans are all one in the same.
In the United States, the leaves and stems of the coriander plant are called cilantro, and the seeds are called coriander. In other countries, they are called coriander and coriander seeds, respectively.
If you don't care for it, or it's unavailable, you can substitute fresh parsley or basil for the cilantro, or a combination of the two.
The dried herb is not a good substitute for fresh. Not only is the texture different, it loses some of its flavor when it's dried.
More green bean recipes
Looking for more ways to enjoy green beans? Try some of these vegan Mediterranean diet favorites:
And for even more delicious vegan recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook Group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Mediterranean Green Bean Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
For the Cilantro Sauce:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Line the green beans up on a cutting board and trim the stem end.
- Prepare an ice bath by placing cold water and ice cubes in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a large pan, bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil. Add the whole trimmed green beans to the pot. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes until they are bright green. Do not overcook the beans.
- Quickly remove the beans from the water with kitchen tongs and place them in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Allow them to cool completely.
- Slice the cooled beans into 1-2 inch pieces. Place them in a salad bowl along with the cherry tomatoes.
- Prepare the sauce by placing the Cilantro Sauce ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a sauce is formed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. You should still be able to see small bits of cilantro leaves in the sauce. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
- Add the sauce to the green beans and tomatoes and toss well to coat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for later.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.