Green Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad

1 pound green beans
1 pound grape tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tbs red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Optional: parsley or other herb

Try piling this on top of torn lettuce leaves. It can’t be more delicious. And quick!
Top and tail the beans, and parboil them in salted water until tender (I find four minutes to be just right for green beans, especially when they will continue cooking for a minute on the towel). Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. (The beans retain more flavor if you avoid shocking them in cold water.) Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. These steps can be done in advance.

For the vinaigrette, peel and dice the shallot fine and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or slat, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while. (Tomatoes can be halved.) Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with parsley or some other fresh herb such as basil, chervil or hyssop.

Yields 6 servings