This is the final dish from our Thanksgiving dinner that I am able to feature. I really wanted to do a post about the gluten-free stuffing I made, but I realized after it was all gone, that I never took a photo, I swore I had. So, I plan to make that again very soon to share it with you. When thinking about what vegetable I was going to serve with dinner I knew wanted green beans, but I wanted to try something a little different. I came across this recipe while thumbing through my issue of Bon Appétit Magazine and I was thrilled to see a unique take on green beans and it was so easy. I made the vinaigrette a day ahead, which I actually think really gave it a ton of flavor, then all I had to do shortly before dinner was ready, was to cook up the beans and toast the walnuts. Super easy.
I loved the tangy flavor from the cranberries and fresh mint was so refreshing. We hadn’t gotten any major snow then, so I was still able to get fresh mint from our yard. This was a nice light and flavor-packed side dish, on a day full of eating and it was great as lunch the next day.
I am really unhappy with the photo, it doesn’t even begin to show how beautiful this dish was. However, I didn’t want to skip sharing this recipe, because the photo wasn’t perfect.
Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cranberry Vinaigrette
adapted from Bon Appétit, November 2010
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus additional (for sprinkling)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 pounds trimmed slender green beans (such as haricots verts)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted , chopped
Whisk first 6 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Mix in dried cherries; set aside.
Fill large bowl with water and ice; set aside. Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl with ice water; cool. Drain.
Toss green beans, walnuts, and vinaigrette in large bowl. Transfer to platter and serve.
If you are preparing for a meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas, these beans are great because you can totally prepare them ahead of time, by a day. You can make the vinaigrette up to one day before. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature; rewhisk before using. You can also make the beans the day before and wrap in paper towels; enclose in resealable plastic bag and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing. You can toast the walnuts 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.