The holidays! Many people enjoy the traditional dishes but it is also nice to change them up a bit. Fresh green beans are just wonderful – especially if they are al dente! Typically I like mine steamed with no dressing. But for the holidays why not add some walnuts, cranberries, blue cheese and you have a gourmet side dish! The walnuts and blue cheese could also be swapped out for other ingredients such as goat cheese. And it is another opportunity to use those dried cranberries! My festive cranberry port dip is another example on how you can use seasonal ingredients! Plus this dish can be made ahead as you will shock the steamed green beans in cold water. The dressing can be made the day before. So it is quick to assemble. It is always important to have a few quick and easy side dishes to make. Do you have any favorite quick holiday dishes?
24-ounces green beans, trimmed
3 tbsp roasted walnut oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 small shallot, thinly sliced into half-moons
2 ounces crumbly blue cheese
Steam the green beans to desired tenderness. Then blanch the green beans in cold water for a few minutes to stop them from cooking, and then drain and dry well. Cut in half for bite-size green beans if desired. In a small bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, vinegar and Dijon mustard. Stir in the salt and pepper. Add the cool green beans to a large bowl and toss in the walnuts, cranberries and shallots and drizzle in the vinaigrette. Place on a platter or serving dish and sprinkle with the blue cheese.