Bloody Mary green bean salad

When you think of it, a Bloody Mary cocktail is a pretty crazy concoction. Heavy with punchy vegetables, salt and laced with a good swig of vodka, it is almost the complete antithesis of what you’d expect a ‘hangover’ cure to be. The flavours are intense and heady – the type of drink which really gives you no where to hide. For this reason, I rather love it.

Not surprisingly, legend has it that the Bloody Mary was invented in New York City in the 1930s. This makes complete sense as, to me, it is a quintessentially New York drink – celebratory, bold and completely original. The perfect restorative brunch drink to ease the effects of the night before and to welcome the promise of a new day.

What I admire the most about this formidable beverage is the gutsy addition of celery. Celery is such an under-rated, under-served vegetable. Growing up, I ate it often as part of Asian stir-fries and jellyfish salad but, over the years, I too have not given celery the celebrity it deserves. This salad recipe is part-way to remedy my oversight. There is nothing shy or retiring about this bright, zesty Bloody-Mary-reinterpreted-as-a-salad. And fittingly, celery really takes centre stage in this dish, pairing beautifully with the hot and spicy flavours. If the celery leaves are tender and young, include them in the salad - they add a delicious delicacy to the dish. A wonderfully surprising salad that will get your guests talking.

But before we get onto the recipe, this week I wanted to tell you about a really exciting adventure over at my favourite communal dining space Sunday Suppers. Founder of Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai is very special human – there is no other way to put it. Despite being unbelievably busy and constantly in-demand, she still evokes a sense of overwhelming calm. Not long after I arrived in Brooklyn, Karen was one of the generous foodie-types who opened their arms and kitchens to me. It is this generosity of spirit that has helped me settle into Brooklyn life so quickly and effortlessly. It is this generosity of spirit which leads me to talk about Karen’s latest venture, ILĀ . Carefully sourced from farms, purveyors and artisans around the globe, each ILĀ a collection of essential ingredients for your kitchen + home. Each product has been selected for its integrity and is delivered with great care and purpose. ILĀ aims to inspire us to gather, cook and celebrate the act of a shared meal. See the full story here and support Karen’s Kickstarter campaign.

Bloody Mary green bean salad

Use seasonal tomatoes, whatever is most delicious! And this is one salad that I enjoy eating cold. For extra fun, serve with a few ice cubes, to really add some chill to a hot day!

Serves 4

Gluten Free + Vegan

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 800g/28.2oz heirloom baby tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 300g/10.5oz celery, chopped (inner stalks and leaves best)
  • 500g/17.6oz green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g/5.2oz green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (tightly packed) flat leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the onion with 2 tablespoon of the sherry vinegar in a large bowl, and allow to macerate for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, celery and olives to the mixture and toss to combine.

Toss the green beans in a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle over some sea salt. Heat a barbecue, griddle pan or grill to high heat and add the green beans. Cook, turning to cook all sides, for 3-4 minutes, or until tender and starting to char.

Combine the remaining sherry vinegar with horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and celery salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add to the green beans and toss well.

Add the green bean mixture to the tomato mixture, and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to combine. If you have the time, allow the salad to sit for 30 minutes, to allow the flavours to meld together.

This salad can be made the day before, chilled in the refrigerator. Enjoy to your liking, either cold, or at room temperature.

SALADHetty McKinnon