Thursday, October 7, 2010

Green Beans with Gingered Walnuts, Cranberries and Feta Cheese


I'll be serving this flavorful green bean salad at the luncheon I'm catering today. It's always appreciated for its unusual combination of ingredients. Sesame Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Cream, Sweet Potato Biscuits and Carrot and Leek Gratin will accompany the beans. A colorful and complementing menu so representative of the fall harvest!

Oops, gotta run the oven timer just went off ... I'll be posting recipes for the other luncheon dishes sometime during the month of October. Check back, you don't want to miss these client favorites!

Worth noting: Al dente versus overcooked versus perfectly cooked green beans is the question I’m posed when I suggest green beans to clients. As silly as it may sound and for something as simple as steaming green beans, I’m known for my perfectly cooked green beans. The key to success is to keep the pot partially covered, the water rumbling and to begin testing for doneness after about 7 minutes, they typically take about 10 minutes.

Tidbits for perfection: For optimum flavor, I recommend using Valbreso French Feta Cheese, available from most grocery stores nationwide.

All-Purpose Vinaigrette Dressing (see September 29th posting for recipe)

Green Beans

1 pound green beans, washed

Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil, add green beans, partially cover, allow water to come back to a boil, (keep partially covered) reduce heat slightly (water should be rumbling) and cook green beans, stirring occasionally for about 7-10 minutes or until desired tenderness. Drain immediately and transfer to a large bowl. When green beans are cool enough to handle trim ends and cut into 1½-inch pieces.

Gingered Walnuts

1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

½ cup walnut halves

Salt

Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, whisk until well combined, soy sauce or tamari, rum, sesame oil and ground ginger. Add walnuts and toss to coat nuts well. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Season with salt.

Green Bean, Gingered Walnut, Cranberry and Feta Salad

½ cup dried cranberries

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, toss green beans with All-Purpose Vinaigrette Dressing. Toss green beans with cranberries, feta cheese, and walnuts. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.