Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion, and Marjoram

By • May 28, 2010 • 46 Comments

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Author Notes: When we were neighbors, our friends John and Julia had my husband and me over for dinner on an embarrassingly regular basis. During the Maryland summer when it was too hot to turn on the oven, John would grill a couple steaks or whole fish to perfection and toss together a simple Greek salad of ripe tomatoes, red onion, feta, and marjoram. I use lemon juice here instead of red wine vinegar and green beans when tomatoes aren't in season and when they are, both are terrific. - MidgeMidge

Food52 Review: This salad, on the surface, seems like one you see at every barbeque -- except that this one is more lemony, only gently oniony, fragrant with marjoram and entirely balanced. The secret? A dash of agave nectar in the dressing, which sweetens and smoothes the lemon and feta. Make sure you don't overcook the green beans -- you want them to snap under your teeth. - A&MA&M

Serves 4

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 4 ounces feta
  • 1/4 red onion, super-thinly sliced
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves stripped and roughly chopped (oregano is great too)
  • 1/4 cup your best olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • dash agave nectar (or sugar to taste)
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Throw in green beans for about 4 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Blend together lemon juice, zest, olive oil and agave nectar.
  3. Combine beans and red onion, crumbled cheese, and marjoram. Toss with dressing. Chill until those lamp chops come off the grill..
Jump to Comments (46)

Tags: savory, simple, Summer, travels well

Comments (46) Questions (0)

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about 1 year ago ColdFrisian

Simple, but delicious. I just add some chili flakes to it.

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over 1 year ago Katie1

This really is the best bean salad! Thanks for the recipe.

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almost 2 years ago Dama

I made this with a shallot instead of red onion bc its what I had on hand and let it sit in the lemon juice while blanching the green beans to mellow the flavor some. It was still a bit sharp but not overpowering, a good balance for us as my husband loves raw onion and I don't. We used sheep's milk french feta and this recipe was absolutely divine. My only regret was not doubling it!

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over 2 years ago ihaventpoisonedyouyet

The divorce from my greek husband does not seem to have had the desired effect since I still google feta or white bean or souvlaki recipes. This though, is wonderful. Word of warning - do not throw caution to the wind - found out the hard way that greek oregano is WAY too strong for this dish. Stick with the recommended herb or be very judicious before you forge ahead.

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over 2 years ago Jenna Kane

I've always just boiled green beans and served with butter - finally starting to think outside the box!! This recipe is beautiful - and it is even spectacular when one gets distracted and forgets the feta and agave!! (oops!) I imagine it is even more wonderful with those ingreds and I look forward to trying it again - as it was intended! Delish!!!

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over 2 years ago Aebell99

I came across this recipe sometime last week and decided to give it a try - or at least, my version (which involved most of the ingredients except for the fresh herbs and sweetener. I didn't have the herbs on hand, and I had forgotten about the sugar. Also, I didn't chill the beans completely. Anyway, it was delicious. So much so that I have made it three times this week so far and am looking forward to eating leftovers from last night's batch. I introduced my husband to it last night, and he liked it a lot too. Served it asa warm side-dish with grilled jerk pork chops and simple pan fried potatoes.

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over 2 years ago jellybeans

I made this very refreshing salad last night.It was wonderful and I can't wait to share it.
Thank you Midge.

Summer_2010_1048

over 2 years ago Midge

Thanks so much jellybeans. It's definitely that time of year.

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over 2 years ago ubs2007

Wow, wow and more wow! LOVE the combination of flavors. Creative, delicious and gorgeous dish. Thank you so much for sharing!

Summer_2010_1048

over 2 years ago Midge

Wow, thanks. I'm thrilled you like it.

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about 3 years ago jaere

Delicious! Just had this for dinner along with brown butter red potatoes and cedar plank salmon. Our kids said this was about the best dinner ever. Such a simple recipe and a great make ahead dish as well.

Summer_2010_1048

about 3 years ago Midge

Thanks jaere! Sounds like a great dinner to me too.

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about 3 years ago MaryDD

Made this for dinner this week! It has a great, bright citrus flavor that pairs well with gamey meat!

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about 3 years ago Midge

I'm so glad you liked it!

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about 3 years ago lylebama

I made this tonight with meyer lemon-infused olive oil in replace of regular and it was delicious. Great recipe for garden fresh beans and so easy. Thanks.

Summer_2010_1048

about 3 years ago Midge

Oh yum. Must try that. Thanks for reporting back!

Epietzsch

over 3 years ago borntobeworn

I made this last night and it was very tasty! We're not eating oils these days so I left that out (didn't miss it at all). Instead of marjoram next time, I'm going to try cilantro. My guy doesn't like raw onions but they were tamed nicely by the lemon juice & feta.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Thanks btbw! Let me know how it goes with cilantro.

Flowers

over 3 years ago Amy Doyle

Made this for dinner tonight. Very good. I ended up using only half the dressing, but that's fine. I can make them again tomorrow.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

Thanks Amy. The dressing is delicious with greens too.

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over 3 years ago pat_dohaney

Oh my, the description and picture alone made me smile...can't wait to try this gem. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and recipes. You make my days!!!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Wow, thanks so much! Hope you try it. I just made it last night with grape tomatoes

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over 3 years ago HandRocksLadle

I made this last night and it was gone FAST. I used a Meyer lemon, shallots instead of the red onion and a tomato basil feta. I'm using the beans I didn't use last night to make it again so we can have it for the week!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Ooh, I like your tweaks! Will have to try a Meyer lemon in it sometime.

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over 3 years ago Elise

I've made this several times for having people over, and it's always a hit with dinner guests - not to mention that I love it (I'd eat it every day if I could). Have used shallot instead of red onion, and that works well too.

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over 3 years ago Midge

I'm so glad you like it! I'll have to give shallots a try.

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

I love this recipe. Can't wait to meet you Saturday!

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about 4 years ago Midge

Thanks so much. Really looking forward to Saturday!

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over 4 years ago kitchengardener

The bunnies ate half my pole beans already but plenty of local beans are appearing in the market, so I am going to try this for the fourth!

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over 4 years ago Midge

Hope you like it!

Kabul1

over 4 years ago jifferb

i made this tonight for our world cup bbq - so many complements! and excellent tip about macerating the onions - thanks!

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over 4 years ago Midge

Wow, thanks! A world cup bbq is a great idea.

Steve_dunn02

over 4 years ago Oui, Chef

Way to go, Midge! I'm making this as soon as my beans are up. - S

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over 4 years ago Midge

Thanks! Jealous of your homegrown beans!