Green Bean Slaw Recipe

A nut-studded, slaw-like green bean salad I made for lunch yesterday from a few things I picked up in the nearby shops and stalls here in the Testaccio neighborhood of Rome - moscato-soaked raisins, arugula, perorino cheese, croutons. Plus a few travel photos.

Green Bean Slaw

The last time I was in Rome, Wayne and I kept finding ourselves in the Testaccio neighborhood. It's across the river and a bit more of a walk to the historical center when compared to Trastevere, but it's the real deal. Anyone who has been here knows, it's a challenge to find a corner of Rome that isn't jam-packed with tourists. But Testaccio is one of them. The bustling market frequented by the locals functions as the hub of the area, and there is a bakery, espresso stop, and pizzeria on just about every block. We rented an apartment here for a few weeks, and I thought I'd share some photos along with a recipe for a nut-studded, slaw-like green bean salad I made for lunch yesterday from a few things I picked up in the nearby shops and stalls.

Green Bean Slaw Recipe

I've been primarily shooting with film, but I brought a digital camera as well. Mainly to take a few snapshots to share with you while I'm here. I took the camera out for a short walk early this morning. It's the time of day when things are just coming to life - cars beginning to retake the streets, kids waiting in front of schools, city workers sugaring espressos at cafe counters, bakery ovens going full tilt. Below our apartment there is one that specializes in long, thin slabs of pizza al taglio. Lots of different kinds - biancho, tomato, zucchini, etc. Olive oil soaked and so tasty.

Green Bean Slaw Recipe

As far as photography goes, the light and textures here are completely different than anything I see in San Francisco. It's part of what I love about traveling - whether it's to Rome or Paris or Kyoto - or even Napa, which is right in my backyard. Every place has its own distinct light, and part of what is interesting about a new place is getting to know it. Or at least attempting to get to know it. Weather changes it, also the time of year, buildings, pollution, and on and on. There are times when the light here seems almost pink to me, particularly in the early mornings.

Green Bean Slaw Recipe

Beyond Testaccio, I've been drinking caffe macchiati, eating cacio e pepi, and people watching from marble steps all over the city. We must be walking fifteen miles a day, and thank god it isn't any hotter. The weather has been quite mild which is helpful because I've been trying to explore a few of the more offbeat neighborhoods. Sometimes this involves a subway ride, a sweaty bus ride, a long walk - (or, often) all of the above. I don't remember which one of us instated the "no taxi" stipulation when we explore cities, but that's become the rule - public transportation or on foot. Anyways, Pigneto was cool, funky, and fun and I look forward to going back there once or twice more before I leave. Same with San Lorenzo.

Green Bean Slaw Recipe

For those of you who have been to Testaccio, it's amazing on the food front. Volpetti is around the corner - my supply for (in addition to a host of other things) sheep's milk ricotta and the most intense, luxe Greek yogurt ever. There is a shop dedicated to spices a block away, and another for fresh egg pasta. Sitting in the shaded park across the street from 00100 with a slice and a beer is really hard to beat. And the nice elderly lady I bought eggs from the last time I stayed in Rome is still selling in the corner of the Testaccio market, the yolks of her eggs just as orange as I remember.

Green Bean Slaw Recipe

A few notes about the salad. It is a mish-mash of ingredients to be sure. But somehow I think they work together. In addition to the green beans you have an arugula and shredded cabbage base punctuated with golden raisins plumped with sweet moscato wine. Beyond that, I tossed in some toasted walnuts, croutons, and shaved pecorino cheese. You get sweetness and saltiness from the raisins and cheese, and crunch from the nuts, croutons, and cabbage playing off the creaminess of the dressing. It's substantial enough to make a meal of, but not too heavy. It was quite hot the day I made it, and it made just the right lunch along with a couple other antipasti.

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Green Bean Slaw Recipe

I used a moscato from Trani, Italy here, but feel free to experiment with other sweet white wines. The one I used was about 14% alcohol - just the right amount of boozy for a salad like this. As far as advanced prep goes - you can make the dressing a day or two ahead of time if you like. And you can slice the green beans, and make the croutons a day ahead of time as well. I used a wood-fired oven spelt walnut bread for the croutons here, but use whatever good bread you have on hand.

2 small handfuls (about 1/2 cup) golden raisins
1 cup / 240 ml Moscato / sweet white wine


yolk of one hard-boiled egg
3 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream
1/3 cup / 80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 a small cabbage, cored and shredded very finely
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 big handfuls green beans or haricot verts, very thinly sliced and cooked in a pot of boiling salted water for 20 seconds, drained (well) immediately, and cooled under cold running water.

A big handful of arugula, roughly chopped

2 handfuls (about 3/4 cup) toasted walnut halves

2 handfuls of torn rustic bread, pan-toasted until golden in a big splash of olive oil

A bit of shaved pecorino cheese

Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the wine. Let soak overnight, or for at least a few hours.

To make the dressing, mash the yolk of the egg in a small bowl. Gradually mash and stir in the creme fraiche. Very slowly add the olive oil beating constantly. It should be smooth and glossy. Whisk in the vinegar and lastly the salt. Taste and adjust if needed.

When you're close to being ready to serve the salad, toss the cabbage and the vinegar together in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, drain the raisins and add to the cabbage. Add the green beans, arugula, and most of the walnuts. Toss a few times. Add about 2/3 of the dressing and toss gently, but well. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Add most of the croutons and most of the pecorino cheese, before tossing again. Serve topped with the remaining walnuts and pecorino.

Serves 6-8.

Prep time: 180 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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"It's part of what I love about traveling - whether it's to Rome or Paris or Kyoto - or even Napa, which is right in my backyard. Every place has its own distinct light, and part of what is interesting about a new place is getting to know it." Yes! You have articulated this perfectly. I, personally, love the shadows in San Francisco, love the color of the light in the High Desert, and love the color of the greenery in Michigan. I cannot even imagine all of the different characteristics of light in Rome. I suppose I will stalk your flickr and find out. :)


I really like the idea of this salad. The dressing is so different from anything I usually make. I almost have to try it out so I can taste!

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)

Mmmm! I love the look of this salad!


This post makes me want to travel so much. The photos are lovely, with a wonderful story to match!

The Nervous Cook

amazing photo work!


This sounds so tasty. Can't wait to try. Hopefully, it will transport me to Italy and out of this hot shot of weather we're having in LA this week...

The French

My boyfriend and I also have a "no taxi" rule when we go on vacation, so I feel your pain! We're heading to Europe on Thursday and I forsee a lot of walking in my future! Great pictures of Rome, I loved visiting there and enjoying the small cafes.

Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen

I came across your site whilst surfing and have been visiting regularly ever since. Your philosophy of natural foods made simply, is in total agreement with mine. I added your site to 'My Blog List' as it is one of my favourites. If you would be happy with it, In the near future I hope to write about my versions of some of the recipes featured here, of course, with links to your site. thanks :) HS: Looking forward to seeing your take on the recipes featured here Merry. Thanks for the nice note.


Perfect timing. Just about to pick last of the season beans...


Hello Heidi, This post came at a perfect time; I'll be visiting Rome for the first time in late October. If you wouldn't mind divulging which agency you've arranged your stay with and in which neighborhood, it would greatly help me in narrowing down my accommodations! Many thanks!


I love the pictures, the stories and this salad! Yum!

Simply Life

I'm impressed that you mostly shoot with film - I wish I was a good enough photographer to be able to do that. I don't know what I'd do without digital so I can take lots and lots of shots! :)

Tabitha (from single to married)

The photos of this post are stunning!

a Teenage Gourmet

ciao heidi - i hope you are catching up on the proper dose of summer you deserve! (is it still warm down there?) rome is such a photogenic place isn't it? (well, so is SF, but still..). have a great time and please, please share a lot more of your images with us when you're ready! p.s. i think you've got the same pretty plate that a friend of mine in italy has! HS: I picked it up at a flea market neat the Piazza de Popolo a couple days after I got here. Now, to get it home in one piece...


Hande: Really? I go to the one in Trastevere regularly and I still feel like I'm missing half of what I need. Can you find whole wheat pastry flour fex? Or evaporated cane juice? I see they just got amaranth, which I'm pretty excited about.


Heidi, so nice to see and read some of your impressions! Give us more, please! @Maria : you can find all the things you are missing in the Castroni shops. HS: Hande, thanks again for inviting me to your wonderful tasting. I really enjoyed the range of wines. Hoping I can make it to another one before I leave.


I live in Monteverde and bike through Testaccio every morning. I check your website more or less every day, so it was extra nice to see an entry from my own neighbourhood! I'm still not entirely comfortable with the veggies I find in the Roman markets, so I hope to see more suggestions for what to do with them, since many of your usual recipes are out of reach for me here in Rome (whole grains and non-traditional flours, natural sweeteners and most of the spices are simply not available here). Could you let me know which spice shop you are referring to in this entry? I must have missed this one. A recommendation for you, if you haven't been here already: Claudio Torcé's gelateria on Viale Aventino 59 (about a block down from the Esso gas station) is an absolute must. They have the most creative flavours (the strudel is great, so is the rice, the black sesame, and the brie and blueberry when they have it .. oh and the ginger .. and .. ). Do go! (I work one block north of it and just cannot keep away). Closed on Mondays, mind. HS: Hi Maria! Thanks for the gelato rec. I'm making note of it now...So, there is a natural foods store just around the corner from where I'm staying as well - lots of cool ingredients - grains and the like. I'll have a closer look at the sweeteners the next time I'm in there. It is near the spice shop too. I'll make note of the street names and will update here soon. If you see me out waiting for the 280 bus please say hello - I seem to spend a bit of time at that bus stop...


Sounds like my kind of salad! It is finally starting to warm up in Auckland and i'm craving salads like this. By the way I am insanely jealous of your temporary 'hood...

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

Heidi, I hope you are getting some of the summer you were hoping for! I like the reference to the lady selling eggs - it is nice when you revisit a place and there are little things that are familiar - enjoy the rest of your trip.......


I'm really getting into interesting salads at the moment as the weather warms up in Australia, and this one looks yummo! And the stories of the back neighbourhoods in Rome take me right back... stand up macchiatos, street corner markets, the piazzas, and of course the endless walking to impossibly gorgeous sites. Buono!


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