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Let's hear it for Gerti Crashley

Top photo, the marinade awaits the beans; bottom photo, ready to eat

I don't even know Gerti Crashley, but she has my unqualified respect. For one, she's married to a professional hockey player. Well, he's a coach now, but as you might imagine, these are guys with heads like bowling balls. I feel privileged to say this since a know a couple, and their pig-headedness is legend.

Gerti also lives in Canada, a part famed for single-digit temperatures the whole winter long. More respect, huge heaping helpings of respect.

Finally, she cooks without recipes, hence the sketchy info for this too-good-to-be-true bean salad. In fact, I'm told by one who knows her well that she is puzzled by the fuss made over this salad. "It's just beans, onions and garlic," Gerti is said to have intoned when the compliments began to flow.

In truth, this is wa-a-ay too easy not to try tonight, for I do believe it will work with frozen veggies, too, even cut green beans or artichokes or anything else you might eat warm or at room temperature.


Feel free to experiment with this, but don't be tempted to use more oil than vinegar. The vinegar and garlic make the day.

2 pounds fresh green beans, tipped and cut in half, if you prefer
6 cups water, if using fresh beans
3 large or 4 small cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 to 1/2 cup very thinly sliced sweet onion (Vidalia, if you can get them)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the beans in a large pan (we used a Dutch oven) cover with water and put them on to cook. Meanwhile, in a large bowl big enough for tossing, put the onions, garlic, oil and vinegar. We waited till we'd added the beans to salt and pepper, but feel free to add seasoning to the "marinade" in the bowl.

When the beans are tender-crisp (daughter and I had a bit of a debate about this, she liking the beans barely cooked, I liking them tender-crisp but more cooked than she), drain well but quickly and dump the steaming beans into the marinade. Let stand for a minute or two so the heat of the beans wilts the onion and garlic.

Serve immediately or at room temp, which makes this a great potluck dish.

See, you "meet" the coolest people and pick up the neatest recipes when you leave the nest for a few days.

Green beans from Canada today, White Sangria from Mexico coming later this week.