Marinated Green Bean Salad

Roasting is one of my favourite ways to prepare vegetables and lately I have been serving them with a variety of creamy tahini-based sauces such as lemon, lime or orange flavours. However, a marinade is also a great way to intensify the flavour of food with just a few simple ingredients.

aerial view of two dishes of green bean salad with peppers and limes

What is a Marinade?

Basically, a marinade is a liquid with seasoning for soaking food before cooking to enhance its flavour and texture. The roots of the word marinade come from the Latin word for sea (mare) and early uses of the word referred to steeping food in heavily salted liquid as way to preserve, flavour and tenderize.

However, today, marinades can include mixtures of vinegar, oil, herbs, or similar ingredients and the process of immersing foods in liquids can vary from minutes to days, and even months in unique situations.

front view of two dishes of green bean salad with peppers and limes

Origins of Marinating

The specific ingredients in a marinade depend on the country of origin and also on the particular chefs. According to Slurrp, the concept of marinating food can be traced to the deserts of Ancient Egypt.

Dishes in Asia have been marinated in soy sauce for centuries and in Roman times, marinades were added for flavouring. From the 13th century, the French also began marinating their food and in North America, bottled marinades have been used since the 1800s. 

front view of two dishes of green bean salad with peppers and limes


This salad is inspired by Deliciously Ella and is a tasty and crunchy, light summer salad. It is quick and easy to put together although it does need about an hour to marinade in order to infuse the colourful ingredients with more flavours. This recipe will serve 2-4 people and is very versatile as it can be used as a side or a main dish served with other additions such as some crumbled vegan feta cheese.


  • 2 peppers (mix of red, yellow or orange)
  • 225g green beans
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 TBS sesame seeds
  • 1/2 red onion


  • 2 TBS tamari
  • 1 TBS brown rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS toasted sesame oil
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • pinch of salt


  • 1 TBS almond butter
  • 1 TBS toasted sesame oil
  • 1 TBS brown rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS tamari
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • pinch of salt
front view of two dishes of green bean salad with peppers and limes


  1. Prepare green beans and chop into bite-sized pieces and add to boiling water and blanch for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking.
  2. Add to a bowl with chopped peppers, red onion, spring onion and sesame seeds.
  3. Mix the marinade ingredients and add to the salad coating everything in the liquid and cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Mix together topping ingredients until it is a smooth consistency.
  5. When ready to serve, add the topping and a sprinkle of sesame seeds onto the salad mixture.
front view of two dishes of green bean salad with peppers and limes

Closing Thoughts

Although marinades work well with many foods, optimum soaking times do vary. Harder vegetables like potato, carrots and beets need at least 30 minutes and can be soaked overnight, whereas semi-hard vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, and peppers work well between 30 minutes to a few hours. Softer foods like tomatoes and greens only need about 10 minutes and, when marinated for longer than 30 minutes, they risk releasing water and getting soggy.

For a complete meal, don’t forget the vegetable proteins like tofu, tempeh and seitan which marinade well for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. The only downside of marination is that it does require planning ahead, but it is worth it as an easy way to be creative with adding flavours to everyday foods.

Other Salad Options: