Make this quick and easy dinner salad side dish the spotlight of your meal. I imagine most of us that are coming out of a long, cold and snowy winter are ready to fire up the grill and get back to outdoor cooking. I know Bill and I are!
Perhaps one of the best parts of grilling, besides standing around and chatting with a cool drink, is that you don’t always have to be fancy. Sure, marinades, brines, and special rubs make any meat more flavorful, but sometimes, a simple seasoning and a perfectly grilled piece of protein is satisfying enough as your main dish.
Grilling allows me to focus on the dish that is sometimes, unintentionally, an afterthought. The side dish.My Smashed Cucumber and Butter Bean Salad deserves to stand in the spotlight. It is packed with light, refreshing flavors and pairs perfectly with any protein to make a complete meal.I start with a creamy mix of Greek yogurt, buttermilk and dijon mustard. This dressing is then loaded with fresh tarragon and chives straight from the garden. The tarragon is so fragrant and has an anise-like flavor. The chives give it a delicate onion flavor that we can’t resist.Mini cucumbers are perfect here with fewer seeds and crisp skin. And instead of slicing them, I smash them with the back of my knife into perfectly imperfect pieces that give the salad a rustic feel.Once smashed and torn apart, the pieces will soak up the dressing in all their nooks and crannies, yet, will retain a perfect crunch.
In contrast to the crisp cukes, I’m adding canned butter beans. Creamy, rich, and buttery, these beans give this salad more sustenance.With a little color from sliced radishes, this salad is ready to be soaked and tossed in the tarragon buttermilk dressing.A simple grilled piece of steak, chicken, pork or fish is a perfect partner to the fresh and crisp ingredients and fragrant dressing in this salad.Go ahead and whip this salad up and let the side dish be the star at your next meal.
Do you have a go-to side dish when you’re grilling?
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- FOR THE SALAD:
- 6 mini cucumbers, cut into thirds and smashed with the back of a knife
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 15 ounce can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Cut your cucumbers in halves or thirds. Place a large knife on top of the cut cucumber with the blade facing away from you. Lightly crush the cucumber and tear it into chunks (cucumber should "crush" into 3-4 pieces)
- Add the cucumber, radishes, and the butter beans to a bowl.
- Top with the dressing and carefully stir to coat.
- Top with salt and pepper to taste.