Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 19, 2010

Green Bean Salad with Lime Miso Dressing

I’ve been making this for ages. I saw a caterer I know put this together (Hey Luzma!) for a wedding I was working, and I just fell in love. It’s crunchy, and sweet and savory and delicious and even the little children will eat these when they’re served.

It’s lower in fat. It’s lower in sodium. It’s without processed ingredients altogether. Most of it can be made well ahead. If you like fruit with your savory goodies in salads, you’ll make this again and again.

Green Bean Salad with Lime Miso Dressing

1 1/2 lbs of green beans, topped and tailed

2 not-quite-ripe pears

1/2 cup pecans halves, toasted

2 limes, zest of one and juice of both

1 1/2 TBSP White Miso

4 TBSP Maple syrup

6 TBSP olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

Start a large pot of water boiling, when it comes to the boil add lots of salt. In double handfuls, drop in the green beans for about 2 minutes to 2 1/2 minutes-until they’re a good texture for salad (so not as cooked through as they would be for a hot vegetable). Scoop them out with tongs or a spider or a slotted spoon and drop them into a large bowl with plenty of cold water and ice in it to shock them. Once they’re cooled off, move them to a colander so that they can drain.¬†These beans may be stored, rolled in a tea towel to keep them dry and tucked in a plastic bag, for up to two days.

Once the pecan halves are toasted, I like to slice them long-wise into two or three pieces. These may be done well ahead and stored in any airtight container.

For the dressing, stir the lime juice, maple syrup and miso together. Drizzle in the olive oil–one drop at a time at first–stirring all the while with a small whisk or a fork. Increase the oil to a thin stream. Continue stirring and stirring as you pour. When it’s all been added, check the seasonings. Does it need more salt? Add a half teaspoon more of the miso. Does it need more sweetness? Add a few drops of maple. Don’t forget to add the pepper to finish it.

Half an hour before you want to serve the salad, slice the pears very thinly–skins still on. Marinate them in the dressing so that they soften and take up the flavor (this is why you want them to be less than ripe when you start. If they’re ripe, they’ll get too soft and fall apart in the salad).

Assemble the salad by tossing the beans, pears and most of the pecans together. Put the salad into a bowl or on a platter. Sprinkle the last few pecans on the top. This is just so good!




  1. Houston, we have achieved drool…Oh my god, this looks absolutely AMAZING! I would never have thought to pair green beans with pears, but oh, it makes so much sense! I can’t wait to eat this.

    • If you go slightly insane and want these as a passed appetizer, bundle three of the green beans with a slice of pear in the middle , tie them with a chive string, put crushed pecans on a platter lined with collard leaves, dip each bundle in the dressing, and put the bundles on the platter. When people use a toothpick to push down on the bundles, it brings up the pecans with–very tasty and clever and Martha! I did this once, but the morale damage to the staff preparing the bundles was pretty stiff.

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