Bon Appétit (November 2010)
We weren't worried because it's tricky or time-consuming (it's a cinch, really), but because we couldn't really wrap our heads around cherries and green beans together.
Was there a way for those two flavors to mesh well?
We were intrigued.
Blanch the green beans, toast the walnuts, mix the vinaigrette and then toss everything together.
You can prepare each of the components a day early. Heck, you can even mix the completed salad two hours before the meal and let it sit at room temperature.
Quick-blanching the beans and dunking them in an ice bath ensures crisp, fresh beans (soggy green-bean casserole, this ain't). The toasted walnuts amp up the crunch factor even more.
And the cherries? They're great! The vinaigrette is sharp, tangy and slightly sweet. To our somewhat surprise, it turned out to be a great flavor pairing with the simple green beans.
We'd definitely make this again -- minus the apprehension.
(This photo: Bon Appétit)
PREP: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 20 minutes
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 tart cherries
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. DO AHEAD Vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature; rewhisk before using.
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. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in paper towels; enclose in resealable plastic bag and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.
Toss green beans, walnuts, and vinaigrette in large bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Transfer to platter and serve.