Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m auditioning several new recipes this year to replace old standbys that appear on the dinner table more out of tradition than anything else. We love the usual turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes, and our other sides are equally rich and heavy. I’m not too proud to say that the old mushroom soup green bean casserole is always there too. The trinity is untouchable…turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes…so I’m experimenting with lightening up several other dishes so we don’t have the feeling of overindulging and are ready for a snack of leftovers later in the evening. Is there anybody who doesn’t think that a turkey sandwich is the best part of the holiday?
We love green beans and this recipe is one that can be both salad and vegetable. I serve it at room temperature so it frees up a pot and a burner when my stove top is way too crowded. I add dressing by the tablespoonful to make sure I don’t use too much… the vinaigrette has lots of flavor so a little goes a long way. I wish I could find an acceptable recipe for a low calorie pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Odds are I won’t find a replacement for pecan pie either. Oh well…I’ll just cut back where I can.
- 4 cups (12 ounces) trimmed haricots verts
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
- ½ tablespoon whole grain mustard
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, season with 1 tablespoon salt. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Add haricots verts to the boiling water and cook until tender but still crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Drain immediately and place in ice water until chilled. Drain beans well and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add balsamic vinegar to shallots in a medium bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes. Stir in mustard until combined. Gradually whisk in olive oil and hazelnut oil until blended. Whisk in chives, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper until combined.
- Toss beans and hazelnuts until evenly coated with dressing. Garnish with crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Premium, extra large Oregon hazelnuts are available on THE BAVARIAN NUT COMPANY’S on-line store. You can purchase WHOLE NATURAL HAZELNUTS or DRY ROASTED HAZELNUTS for this recipe and for all your holiday baking needs. Their superior flavor and texture give your favorite recipes that something special that your family will love.
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