Meatless Mondays: Green Bean–Cilantro Salsa

If you need a respite from tomato salsa, this recipe is for you.

(Photo: Ian Knauer)

Sep 8, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Ian Knauer is a regular contributor to TakePart. He has worked for Gourmet and is the author of the IACP Award–nominated cookbook The Farm.

Why meatless on Mondays? Not only is eating less animal protein a healthy diet choice, but curbing your meat consumption can have a significant environmental impact too. In 2006, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported that animal agriculture accounted for a full 19 percent of greenhouse gases—more than the transportation sector. Best of all, with recipes like these, going meatless can be a delicious weekly habit.

Here we are—the moment I’ve been waiting for, smack dab in the center of tomato season. I’ve eaten them in every way imaginable (and in some ways unimaginable) for the last month, and the end is not yet in sight. I had a moment this week, while slurping down my favorite summer tomato salsa, when I got tired of eating tomatoes.

That feeling of being sick and tired of eating something (like tomatoes) is actually a really good feeling. It is just as necessary to the way I eat as the anticipation I feel the rest of the year—the longing for perfect tomatoes. There comes a point, and I’ve reached it with tomatoes, when I’ve had so many that I really don’t mind waiting until next year to eat them again. When you eat seasonally, you need both feelings—anticipation and fulfillment. One without the other might entice me to do something crazy, like eat an out-of-season tomato.

So this week, instead of my favorite summer tomato salsa, I got creative with the late-summer crop of green beans in the garden and stirred together a green bean salsa. It is a welcome reprieve and just what I need to get back on the tomato saddle for the rest of the summer.

Green BeanCilantro Salsa

Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer


1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper


Cut beans into 1/4-inch pieces, then toss with the onion, jalapeño, juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chips.