As we enter the last hurrah of summer around here, a bumper crop of lovely green beans are making their showy appearance at our local farmers market. Sure there are the standard beans, glorious in their plump greenness, but there are also the more unusual varieties arriving onto the scene. The deep purple, almost midnight black numbers. Broad beans that are flecked with a red that mysteriously disappears once cooked. The fashionably thin French selections. All delightful and unique in their own way.
Mix any combination of these beauties with brain boosting walnuts along with the tang of feta and the sweetness of dried cranberries and you have the beginning of an enchanting late summer side salad. For our vegan friends, skip the feta. An inspired raw version can be created by shredding the uncooked beans, switching out lemon juice for the balsamic and Dijon, omitting the cheese and leaving the walnuts in all their raw glory.