This post was originally published here on August 29, 2014. It’s a favorite recipe of mine, so I thought it was worth re-visiting with new and improved photos. I hope you try it out!
I have been in a MEGA salad mood these past couple of weeks. Like, I literally can’t stop eating salads. They’re all I want. All day. Every day.
I’ve always been a big salad eater. But you know how there are some days when you’re just eating a salad because you feel like you’re suppose too be. Like, maybe you’re trying to erase some poor choices from the day before. Yeah. I’ve had my fair share of those moments (most recently, this past Saturday). I think we all have.
But lately, I don’t feel like that at all. My appetite for salads has been insatiable. Luckily for me, there is an overwhelming amount of delectable Summer produce available right now. So feeding my salad desires has never been so easy. Or delicious.
This Grilled Potato and Fig Salad with Maple-Almond Clusters has been a favorite recipe of mine for years now. And it’s currently making it’s way back into heavy rotation. I’m literally obsessed with this salad. And as long as I can reliably find fresh figs at the grocery story, that obsession will continue. Fig season is SO SHORT (which pains me greatly). So when they are around, you know damn straight I’m taking advantage of them in every way possible.
I’m also taking advantage of my grill while the weather allows, grilling both the potatoes and the figs for this recipe. The potatoes do require a little pre-cooking, which helps them to cook evenly on your grill without burning. But it’s worth the extra step. Because everything tastes better from the grill. Even salads.
I find that I don’t need much in the way of dressing for this salad. Just a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar is plenty for me. But you can add some extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.
Beware these maple-almond clusters. They are pretty much like crack. CRACK I tell you! It takes a lot of willpower not to eat (demolish?) the entire batch in one sitting. You might want to just go right ahead and double the recipe, so you have enough for nibbling on and for topping this salad. Trust me when I say they are highly addicting.
Recipe inspiration comes to me in many forms. Random ideas often pop into my head when I’m out walking or taking a shower. I scrupulously study menus at restaurants in search of new-to-me flavor combinations. And a quick scroll through Instagram will have me jumping out of my chair and speeding off to grocery store for supplies in a heartbeat.
But nothing will get my creative juices flowing like a trip to the farm.
A few weeks ago, our chive fields were in full bloom. There was a seemingly endless sea of purple and green that stretched out from my feet for as far as the eye could see. And I was there for the taking (literally). Armed with my camera, a pair of scissors, a handful of small rubber bands and an empty shopping bag, this bumper crop was coming home with me. Well, at least a tiny portion of it was.
I snatched up several bunches of chives and once I found myself back in my own kitchen, I got to work experimenting with their blossoms. I made a chive blossom vinegar. I whipped some of the purple buds into a honey-sweetened goat cheese, which I then proceeded to slather on everything. And I started tossing them into salads, soups and side dishes. Chive blossoms have a delicate onion flavor and so far, I haven’t found a single savory dish that they don’t work well in. The possibilities appear limitless. Also, their cuteness factor is on point.
Today’s recipe for Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms is a variation of this green bean and apple salad that I created last September. I also took some cues from Brooke’s brilliant green bean and nectarine pairing, which you can find beautifully photographed and written up here. Her recipe is what really inspired me to give my previous version a facelift for Summer.
This is a dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare and uses a minimal number of ingredients. But it’s anything but boring. There are several layers of flavors and textures, which makes eat bite something to write home about. From the slight char on the still crisp green beans (a cast iron skillet is your best option here for cooking the green beans), to the jam-sweetened dressing, to the fresh pops of purple and orange from the chive blossoms and apricots, respectively. It all just works in an effortless kind of way. Exactly how a Summer side dish should be.
This dish is great served either warm or chilled. And it’s completely dairy free (= no immediately spoilage concerns). Which, in my humble opinion, makes it the perfect dish to serve at an outdoor gathering. Those 4th of July parties will be here before you know it. Time to start planning.
And playing. I encourage you to try swapping out the apricots for peaches, plums or even cherries. And try adding in a handful of toasted almonds or walnuts, if you want more crunch.
I’m sharing this recipe for Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms as part of a very special event that’s taking place today on the internet today: the Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace organized by Saghar from Lab Noon.
This virtual event is a chance for myself and other like-minded bloggers to stand together and make our voices and opinions known. To deliver a positive message. To say “hey, I’d rather share a dish and a conversation with you, instead of fighting with you”. Or “let’s celebrate all the things we have in common, instead of battling over the things that make us different”.
My voice may be small. But it’s what I have. And I’m not afraid to use it. To say “NO” to terror, oppression and hate. And to say “YES” to peace, love and respect.
I hope you’ll be inspired to make your voice heard as well.
You can find out who all the other bloggers are who are participating in our Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace by clicking on this link. Or check out the hashtag #VirtualMidsummerPotluck4Peace on social media. You’ll discover a lot of uplifting messages and stories. As well as some wonderful Summer food and drink recipes that are perfect for sharing.