-- and it was pretty darn good. The ideas came from various sources: memories of side dishes enjoyed at other people's parties, recipes for vinaigrettes and marinades discovered on line or in cookbooks. The salad is colorful and it is the month of June so we'll call it Colorful June salad.
For the salad:
a large handful fresh green beans
one pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 jar green olives, sliced
1 small can sliced black olives (or about a cup of other, fancier olives of your choice)
For the vinaigrette -- whisk in a small bowl:
the juice of one lemon
about 1/3 cup good olive oil, or more to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, diced
sprigs fresh thyme, or about 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
Parboil the green beans in boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how crisp you like them in a cold salad. Drain, and chop into bite size lengths. Combine the beans, mushrooms, celery, and olives in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight. The color contrasts of this mostly green salad come from the red pimiento stuffed into the olives, but certainly red peppers or yellow squash could contribute their mite to it, too. Enjoy it with a picnic of grilled chicken and a very cool, crisp and grapefruit-y sauvignon blanc, and you will be pleased with life I think.