My favorite salad in the world: it’s Sunshine Salad! An ubiquitous Boonman family favorite (Google shows no search results for this one), Sunshine Salad would definitely be listed on my “last meal list.” Sunshine Salad features blanched green beans, feta, egg whites, egg yolks, toasted walnuts, and a mild but pleasantly fragrant rice wine and scallion vinaigrette. Also, we capitalize Sunshine Salad: it’s a proper meal, ain’t it? Thus, Proper Noun Status (high school English teachers across the country wince; it’s more of a title, isn’t it?).
Sunshine Salad is a stunning crowd-pleaser, because it looks like a giant radiant sun of green beans.
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
1/4 cup walnut or vegetable oil
Salt & pepper
1.25 ounces walnut halves (about 1/3 cup)
1.5 pounds green beans
2 hard-boiled eggs
2.5 ounces feta cheese (about 1/2 cup crumbled)
Preparation: for the vinaigrette, mince the white part of the scallion. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, and scallion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put walnuts in a cake pan and toast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Cool and then chop finely. (Nellie’s note: I do not heat up the entire danged oven just to forget about the walnuts and blacken them, so I do this on the stovetop so I can smell and watch them).
Cook beans in a large pot of boiling, salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and drain thoroughly. Gently pat dry.
Put eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Cover, remove saucepan from heat, let stand for 20 minutes, drain. Cool eggs, separate whites from yolks, and chop separately into a fine dice.
Recipe can be made at this point several hours ahead.
Arrange beans on a round serving platter in a circular fashion. Whisk vinaigrette again and spoon over beans. Crumble feta cheese first and sprinkle it into the center, then sprinkle chopped walnuts in a circle around the cheese, then sprinkle chopped egg yolks in a circle around walnuts, then sprinkle chopped egg whites in a circle around the yolks, covering all but the outer ends fo the beans. Serve at room temperature.