Green Bean Salad with Walnuts, Dates and Roquefort – what a delicious combo!! Toasted walnuts and blue cheese are a classic combo, but add naturally sweet Medjool dates marinated with white balsamic vinegar and a little sweet red onion and you have a dream team that elevate blanched green beans to a new and spectacular level. This may just be your next favourite way to serve green bean as a side dish
What makes this green bean salad such a great side dish
Not only do you get some many delicious flavours with every bite, but the crunchiness of green beans works particularly well in this salad. And this green bean side dish is so simple and easy to make. I use fresh Medjool dates from the market (also found in Turkish shops and some supermarkets) as they have so much flavour and a terrific tender texture, which when chopped is almost like a paste, since they are so soft. This allows their flavour to better coat the beans. Meaning more flavour in every bite. If you can’t find fresh Medjool dates, you can buy packaged ones and soak them in a little warm water to soften them up. But if you can, use fresh ones — they are worth it!
Preparing green beans
My go-to method is blanching. Especially with lots of beans. This basically means I plunge the beans into boiling water for a few minutes, then remove and place in ice water. This process sets the color of vegetables. The green beans do not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved. Which is perfect when featuring a green bean salad as a side dish! When I am preparing smaller amounts of beans (as a basic side dish), I often just steam them in a steamer basket or cook them in a skillet, covered with a small amount of water, raise the heat, and cook until it has evaporated. Similar to stir-frying. You end up with green beans with lots flavour. Try it!
Green Bean Salad with Walnuts, Dates and Roquefort
This green bean salad is the best! Perfectly cooked green beans are tossed with marinated Medjool dates, toasted walnuts, and Roquefort blue cheese. A terrific combo for a delicious green bean side dish. that can be served for any occasion. Recipe yields 4-6 side servings.
For the salad:
- 500 g fresh green beans, trimmed
- small pinch chili flakes
- 35 g toasted walnuts, chopped
- 35 g crumbled Roquefort blue cheese, more, if desired
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, divided
- 4 dates Medjool, pitted and chopped
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Place 1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, the chopped dates and onions in a small bowl. Add a small pinch of salt and mix well. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes. Then add remaining vinegar and olive oil to the bowl.
Meanwhile, blanch the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook until bright green and crisp tender (3 to 4 minutes, depending on size/type of green bean). Immediately drain the green beans in a colander and plunge them into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Let them chill in the bath for 5 minutes. Pat the beans dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Place the beans in a bowl season with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pour over the dressing. Add a pinch of chili flakes. Toss and transfer to serving plate. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and walnuts. Serve and enjoy!
To toast the walnuts: There are two ways to toast walnuts: in the oven and on the stovetop. Both methods work very well., You can toast them in the oven at 190°C for 5 minutes or on the stovetop in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts to the hot, dry pan, only toasting as many walnuts as fit in the pan in a single layer. Cook, stirring frequently until the walnuts start to lightly brown and they smell toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a plate where they can cool before chopping.
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