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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This is great, getting to take a trip and see all the sites without the cost. I like looking at others trips. You make it sound wonderful. I have not tried the slaw, yet. It looks great though.


Heidi, your post was the escapist highlight of my day! Love, love, love the photos! Most striking to me is how happy the employees of the espresso cafe are to be serving their customers, and how seriously the baker takes the creation of his culinary art! Italian culture revolves around food, so it is quite obvious why you have chosen to rent an apartment in Rome and saturate yourselves in that atmosphere. Exploring neighborhood shops and markets, and having a kitchen in which to cook our 'finds' - is our idea of the ultimate in travel experiences, too. Thanks to all the posters for the amazing "insider" travel info - culinary and photographic!

Primordial Soup

Yay Roma! We went this year and ate our way through the city. I miss it so!

Jamie G. Dougherty (JAMIE|LIVING)

I love green bean slaw! We're going to try this recipe on Saturday. Thanks!

Cool Springs TN

Heidi--your photography is as sumptuous as your recipes. thx for this fabulous prespective on Rome. I hope you and Maria meet up! I'm off to my mkt for ingredients...wishing on the green beans(:


Green bean slaw looks delicious! Congratulations on making one of the top blogs! Rita Great Gifts

Rita Reyes

The salad looks tasty. I love salads with a lot of texture and flavors. Never been to Rome, so many places . . .

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

Heidi are you still in Roma? I would love to reccommend you a great off the beaten path place to eat...


another great neighborhood is nomentana, i lived there for a few months and never saw tourists until i got downtown. the 80 bus picks up at p. san silvestro (around the corner from the spanish steps) and takes you north out of the city on corso trieste to villa ada which is perhaps even more beautiful and wonderful than the expected visit to villa borghese. anyway, lovely post and lovely pictures :)


You are in my very favorite place in the whole world and I'm jealous! I've only been there a few days each time I go, using Rome as my starting point for travels around Italy, so I've never rented an apartment, but can tell some day I'm going to have to!

Cooking with Michele

Thank you, Heidi, for posting the info and photos on Rome.

William Powell

the lighting... it's been AMAZING here in Italy lately... HAS to be due to the Iceland volcano... that's MY theory... again, Heidi, if you come Venice (or any of Veneto, for that matter), please advise... :)


Great photos! The green bean thing looks amazing. I love green beans! My mom made green beans last night with lemon zest and tomatoes and I ate so much!


I'm in love with your salad dressings lately Heidi! Recently tried the buttermilk dressing from the Buttermilk Farro Salad and the miso dressing from the Miso Chopped Salad and LOVED them both. I am definitely going to try this one this week. Maybe a salad dressing cookbook could be a thing?


Beautiful photographs, amazing post and another fabulous recipe....

The Healthy Apple

Great pics of Rome. Testaccio is one of the Eternal CIty's heart. For the next time I would suggest you a walk in Monti. I live in Rome for 7 years now, but I'm able to discover with great surprise something new each day


Just as much as your post, I have LOVED seeing all of these comments... What a small world!! ...has everyone been to Testaccio except ME?? :)

Torrie @ a place to share...

Hey Heidi, I've been following you from Trastevere for a couple of years now nice to know you and Wayne are now around the corner!! If you have never been to Piazza San Cosimato food store you MUST go and visit. It's right on the corner between Via Natale del Grande and Piazza S. Cosimato. it's a trove of delicacies: grains, whole foods, nuts, sweets, spices etc. etc. it's been there for ages and it has a very special atmosphere, especially for a photographer . Their windows are amazing, and you will love the feel of it. Hope you can make it!! (If so, try the cornetti of Ms Vera, the Pasticceria on the same street!!)


Heidi, What perfect timing! I was just writing an entry on the Testaccio market myself for a friend's book (have you visited the tomato man, yet?). Glad to hear you are enjoying it. Don't forget to check out all of David Lebovitz' gelato stops from his trip in June… And your photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing. -Lani


I am not able to keep alcohol in the house so I'm wondering what (if anything) you would recommend to replace the wine here. For recipes that will be cooked, I usually sub a broth and cider vinegar mixture, but it doesn't seem that would work here. Maybe some sort of white grape juice?


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