This is a flavorful and colorful side dish that will be appreciated for its unusual combination of ingredients. I love to serve it with baked chicken. In this recipe I use Valbreso French feta cheese because I’m partial to its zesty flavor and creamy texture. Use either traditional green beans or wax beans.
1 pound green beans, washed
1 teaspoon salt
Several grindings of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup walnut halves
Salt, to taste
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil; reduce heat slightly (water should be rumbling) and cook green beans, stirring occasionally for about 7-10 minutes or until fork-tender. Immediately drain beans and transfer to a large bowl. When green beans are cool enough to handle, trim ends and cut into 1½-inch pieces.
2. In a 2-cup jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar. Shake until ingredients are well blended and salt has dissolved. Add olive oil and shake again to combine ingredients. Store at room temperature.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce or tamari, rum, sesame oil, brown sugar and ginger until well combined. Add walnut and toss to coat the nuts well. Place walnuts on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer walnuts to a lightly oiled sheet of tin foil, disperse nuts in a single layer and immediately season with salt.
5. In a large bowl toss green beans with just enough dressing to coat the beans. Add cranberries, feta cheese and walnuts to the beans and toss adding more dressing if desired. Serve immediately.