Cherry Tomato, Green Bean, and Wax Bean Salad with Herbed Bread Crumbs from 'Kitchen Garden Cookbook'

Ray Kachatorian

Fresh tomato salads are, in my opinion, one of the greatest joys of summer. They're even better when you can use tomatoes you've picked yourself. In her new Kitchen Garden Cookbook, Jeanne Kelley pairs this garden staple with snappy green beans and pale yellow wax beans for a crunchy, colorful twist. A generous shower of herbed bread crumbs adds more texture to the salad, turning it into a dish akin to a light panzanella.

Why I picked this recipe: Give me a tomatoey salad every day for the rest of the summer and I'll be more than happy.

What worked: This gorgeous salad not only has a bright, engaging flavor profile but also keeps things interesting with crunchy, soft, and crisp textures.

What didn't: No problems at all.

Suggested tweaks: This would work equally well with fat slices of heirlooms once they come into season. And if you've still got snap peas in the market, you could substitute those for the green and wax beans.

Reprinted with permission from Kitchen Garden Cookbook: Celebrating the homegrown and homemade by Jeanne Kelley. Copyright 2013. Published by Weldon Owen. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces (185 g) green beans, trimmed and cut into 3-inch (7.5-cm) lengths
  • 6 ounces (185 g) yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut into 3-inch (7.5-cm) lengths
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 ounces/90 g) fresh bread crumbs from coarse country bread
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 cups (12 ounces/375 g) cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces/60 g) chopped red onion


  1. Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans and plunge into cold water to cool. Drain again.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). On a heavy rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread crumbs with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1 garlic clove. Sprinkle lightly with salt and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons thyme, the remaining garlic clove, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the reserved green and wax beans, cherry tomatoes, and red onion, season with pepper, and toss to combine. Stir in the bread crumbs. Transfer to a platter and serve.