Eat Smart

Mix’n Elena: Green Bean & Walnut Salad

by Elena Tsonos, blogger


The thought of green beans might bring back childhood memories of mealtime: You’re sitting at the dinner table with your parents and, perhaps, your younger sibling. Your mom has prepared her weekly meal of sirloin steak served with mashed potatoes and green beans. After you douse the steak in Heinz’s A-1 Steak Sauce, the taste doesn’t bother you much. The mashed potatoes are warm, soft, and delicious—the definition of comfort food. When it comes to eating the green beans, your stomach turns; even though Mom has put a plentiful heaping of margarine on the green beans, it just doesn’t do the trick! You push your plate forward, and your Mom responds that you won’t be able to eat apple pie for dessert unless you eat your green beans. After thinking about that apple pie for a few seconds, you reluctantly take your fork, dive into the green beans, and eat them as quickly as possible so that you won’t have to taste them for long. With your mind set on dessert, you don’t give the green beans a second thought—that is, until the next week when Mom cooks them again and you face the same situation!

Unfortunately, this dinner scene is probably far too familiar to many of you. Since you’ve grown older, hopefully you’ve grown out of your dislike for green beans—especially because they are packed with Vitamin K, are a good source of dietary fiber, and are a medium strength diuretic, which means that they stimulate urine flow and flush toxins out of your body. In Love Food’s recipe book called Salads, green bean lovers can learn more creative ways to enjoy green beans- in salad-form! Today’s recipe is featured in the Love Food’s recipe book and is called “Green Bean & Walnut Salad”. Click ahead to keep reading!

Green Bean & Walnut Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

salad-

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds, to garnish

dressing-

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

Directions:

1. Trim the beans, but leave them whole. Cook for 3-4 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain well, refresh under cold running water, and drain again. Put into a mixing bowl and add the onion, garlic, and cheese.

2. Place the dressing ingredients in a jar with a screw-top lid. Shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Remove the beans from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving. Give them a quick stir and transfer to attractive serving dishes.

3. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until they begin to brown .Sprinkle the toasted nuts over the beans to garnish before serving.

 

This is salad is truly savory. By running the green beans under water after boiling them, you will preserve their color, adding to the physical appeal of the salad. The Parmesan cheese really gives a kick to the earthy taste of the salad. And the nuts for garnish add texture to the salad, giving it an additional crunch. The recipe calls for a small chopped onion; depending on what flavor you’re trying to bring out in the salad, try red onion or sauteed shallots. (The red onion will add spice, and the sauteed shallots will contribute sweetness.) Known as a remedy for toothaches in ancient times, tarragon adds a lot of flavor to the salad; however, beware to use an adequate amount, because it could easily overshadow the other flavors in the salad. If you’re not a huge fan of tarragon, I recommend tossing in some fresh parsley, or maybe even some fresh cilantro; either of these herbs would contribute a mild, yet tasty flavor to the salad. If you don’t have Parmesan cheese on hand, toss in some feta cheese; this will give the salad a Mediterranean twist. This salad would best be served with a well- seasoned grilled steak- or even as it’s own main course. Since the recipe indicates that the yield is only two servings, you can bet that you will be full for a while after eating a full serving.

Try out the recipe and don’t forget to comment back to leave your opinion. Remember to watch out for next week’s featured recipe.

Mix’n Elena says, “It’s all in a day’s mix!”


Advertisements