Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Chèvre

Green beans and walnuts are a classic pairing. The earthy nuttiness of the walnuts contrasts beautifully with sweet, barely-cooked beans, bathed in a tangy vinaigrette. I love including green beans in many of my menus to provide a nice pop of colour on the plate. This dish is great because you can make it an hour or so ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking the beans while you are working on any last minute kitchen preparations. I’ve played around quite a lot with this salad; it’s equally yummy with crumbled blue cheese or feta; feel free to toss in some dried cranberries or diced dried apricots too!

This salad is a nice way to dress up green beans. It's a great side dish for fish, chicken or roasted/grilled meat. It would even make a nice lunch on its own.

This salad is a nice way to dress up green beans. It’s a great side dish for fish, chicken or roasted/grilled meat. It would even make a nice lunch on its own.

Ingredients

1 pound (454 grams) fresh green beans
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
few grinds freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons very finely sliced red onion
½ cup walnut pieces
½ cup crumbled chèvre
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Method

  • Trim stem ends of green beans.
  • Wash beans and put in a steamer basket. Steam over boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes until just tender.
  • Rinse beans under cold water, tumbling them with your hands, until they all feel cool to the touch.
  • Lay drained beans on a clean dish towel and roll up gently to absorb moisture.
  • Unroll beans, put on a cutting board and cut in half crosswise.
  • Put cut, dried beans in a serving bowl just slightly larger than the pile of beans. Cover and keep at room temperature until ready to assemble salad.
  • Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally (should take 3 – 5 minutes). Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. As soon as they are fragrant and just beginning to brown, transfer them to a small bowl so they will stop cooking.
  • Make the vinaigrette by putting the salt in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the vinegar and lemon juice and stir until the salt is dissolved. (Note that it’s important to add the salt in the beginning as it won’t dissolve once the olive oil is added).
  • Add the Dijon and pepper; whisk to combine. Add the olive oil, then put the lid on the jar and shake it vigorously until the vinaigrette is smooth and emulsified.
  • Up to one hour before serving, drizzle the dressing over the beans and toss gently. Sprinkle the red onion over the beans and toss again, being sure to distribute any dressing that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the parsley, chèvre and walnuts to the salad and serve.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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5 Responses to Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Chèvre

  1. MaMaLaLa says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have walnuts, so I used pecans. This was so very tasty. Even my little people- toddler and five year-old asked for a third helping. The goat cheese really made this side dish special. A keeper.

    • Paula Roy says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me that your family liked this recipe. I am sharing my favourite dishes in the hope that others will enjoy them so feedback like this is really, really appreciated!

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year! 2013 in review | Constantly Cooking

  3. Mara says:

    Absolutely delicious! Had as a side dish with sauteed shrimp and it was perfect. Great recipe!

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