Warm Green Bean Salad with Toasted Walnuts

This colorful salad makes a fine prelude to a hearty dinner. Walnut oil’s distinctive flavor delivers a rich hit to the dressing.

Yield: 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

Total Time: 30 minutes

Prep Time: 30 minutes


To Make Ahead:
Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 1) for up to 2 days. Blanch beans (Step 2) up to 8 hours ahead; store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag lined with paper towels.

Recipe Ingredients:

Dressing

  1. 1 shallot, minced
  2. 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  6. 2 tablespoons walnut oil

Salad

  1. 12 ounces haricots verts (see Ingredient Note) or green beans, stem ends trimmed
  2. 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
  3. 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  5. 6 cups mâche (see Ingredient Note) or Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

Recipe Steps:

  1. To prepare dressing: Whisk shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil.
  2. Cook haricots verts (or green beans), uncovered, in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender; 3 to 4 minutes for haricots verts, 4 to 6 minutes for green beans. Drain, refresh under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  4. To prepare salad: Combine the beans, tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Divide mâche (or lettuce) among 6 salad plates. Spoon bean mixture onto the greens, sprinkle with the walnuts and serve.

Recipe Tips & Notes:

  1. Ingredient Notes: Haricots verts is simply French for “green beans.” However, the term is often used for the very slender beans, also called French beans, found in produce markets.
  2. Mâche (“mosh”), also known as lamb’s lettuce or corn salad, is a tangy green that resembles watercress. Popular in Europe, it is enjoyed in the first salads of spring. Look for it in specialty stores and farmers’ markets.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 135 calories; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 1 g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 5 g fiber; 142 mg sodium; 827 mg potassium

© 2009 EatingWellInc.com Photo: Ken Burris