Insalata di Fagiolini: Calabrian Green Bean Salad

We’re eating lots of fagiolini (green beans) now as they’re in season. The other day on the Bleeding Espresso Facebook page, I re-shared the link to my recipe for Green Beans, Pancetta, and Potatoes — one of my absolute favorites — and remember I also posted a similar recipe with tomato sauce and pork.

But you know what I haven’t told you about yet? A delicious, traditional Calabrian recipe for a green bean salad that I never had until I came here. P introduced me to it several years ago, and we eat it often throughout the summer — and I love it more every time I have it.

Note that the traditional Calabrian green bean salad doesn’t include an egg like in the photo below, but if I’m having this for lunch (as opposed to as a side dish), I’ll add an egg for some protein. Notice, incidentally, the yolk color of this egg (from a neighbor) as opposed to ours. Just sayin’.

Insalata di Fagiolini

Insalata di fagiolini

  • 1/2 kilo of green beans
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, cut in half
  • Salt to taste

1. Prepare beans by washing and snapping off the stem ends.

2. Parboil beans in salted water for 5-10 minutes until they are no longer crunchy; Calabrians don’t like much crunch in their veggies, but you might, so feel free to adjust for your taste.

3. Strain and let cool.

4. In the meantime, mix together olive oil, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.

5. When the beans are cool, toss them with the dressing (minus the garlic) and let sit for at least 10 minutes so the beans soak up all that goodness.

6. Adjust for seasoning and serve.

Buon appetito!

P.S. Note that you can also freeze parboiled green beans, so if you find yourself with lots of fresh beans and you’re not sure what to do, just clean them, parboil, and freeze and decide later!

11 Beans of Wisdom to “Insalata di Fagiolini: Calabrian Green Bean Salad”
  1. Cathy
    06.22.2010

    Looks really good Michelle.

    Thanks Cathy!

  2. Gil
    06.22.2010

    I hope your egg producing neighbor doesn’t read this! Salad sounds great!

    Haha, not a big chance of that, Gil, so I think we’re safe πŸ™‚

  3. 06.22.2010

    Looks yummy and those double yolked eggs are wild! Hope you’re having a great summer so far!

    Going well here; the weather has been hot and cool…not complaining on either end. It’s nice to have some variety πŸ˜‰

  4. 06.22.2010

    We love green beans too.. and a great idea to add eggs for protein. Just been over to read about your eggs, WOW… not often you get double yolked and just look at the colour.. we love eggs like that, they are soooo tasty. πŸ™‚

    If you love your eggs “eggy” if you will, deep-colored yolks are such a treat indeed πŸ™‚

  5. 06.22.2010

    Suprisingly our 2 year old daughter loves green beans. It’s a good thing since this weekend we came from Grandparents home with bags and bags from the garden. Your recipe is quick and easy, I didn’t think of adding eggs but a good idea for the protein. I usually prepare them with potatoes. Oh I’m curious you do cook with parsley alot? it’s quite popular here as opposed to coriander (cilantro)

    Yes Calabrians do tend to use quite a bit of parsley…cilantro doesn’t even exist here to the dismay of some of my American friends who love Mexican food πŸ˜‰

  6. 06.23.2010

    Have your hens been dipping into the marigolds….? great recipe, by the way! thanks.

    No marigolds in the garden; I think it’s just the feed we use that gives their yolks a gorgeous golden hue πŸ™‚

  7. 06.24.2010

    I grew up eating string bean salads all summer long. My favorite was, and still is, string beans and potatoes with olive oil and vinegar. In the winter it was always string beans and potatoes cooked with canned tomatoes. Your salad looks delicious.

    String beans and potatoes are just classic, aren’t they? Thanks for commenting Michele!

  8. 06.24.2010

    Being from Abruzzo, we cook string beans with mint, sauted garlic and peperoncino. We cook the flat beans with a quick tomatoe sauce.
    http://casa-giardino.blogspot.com/2010/06/green-beans-from-garden.html

    Sounds delicious, Elisa! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  9. 06.24.2010

    My gosh….would love to be having that for suppa!…mmm!

    Hah, I think I may make it again today πŸ™‚

  10. Jana
    06.27.2010

    i love summer for all the salades one could have and you have surprised me with a new one!!!
    have a great sunday and a lovely new week:-)

    Thank you; same to you Jana!

  11. Jeff
    06.18.2011

    My grandfather was from Calabria and used to grow green beans that looked like these, but Im not sure they are the exact ones. Where can I get seeds to grow these beans? All the old timers I used to know who grew these are all gone. I miss them!

    The best I can say, Jeff, is to try to Google the term…someone *must* have seeds that you can have shipped to you at the very least? Good luck!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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