This delicious cold vegetable dish is packed with nutrients and flavor, easy to make, and as pretty as a bouquet of flowers. It's one of our favorites.
1/4 small red bell pepper
1/2 med. red onion (white may be substituted)
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced Portobello mushrooms (optional)
2 Tbsp. sesame oil or olive oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or cider or wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 to 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (or chopped candied)
2 tsp. sugar (eliminate if candied ginger used)
1/2 tsp. salt
Sliver the red pepper. Cut the onion in half, then slice very thin. Add the minced garlic, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Mix well. If using mushrooms, slice thinly and sauté briefly in a little oil until they appear dark and moist. Add to onion mixture and stir. Leave for an hour or two, or overnight in the refrigerator. Trim green beans and cut into 2" or 3" pieces. Steam for about 5 minutes, checking frequently, until bright green and crispy-tender. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Add to onion mixture with salt, tossing to coat well.
Can be eaten warm as a vegetable; for salad, best if marinated for a half hour in the refrigerator. Serve on a lettuce leaf, as a topping for other green salad, or plain as a relish with the main course. It's even great on a piece of crusty bread, with a slice of cheese.