September 28, 2013

Fresh Green Bean, Walnut, & Feta Salad

Fresh Green Bean, Walnut, and Feta Cheese Salad dressed with olive oil and fresh mint vinaigrette.  It may sound bizarre, but it's one amazingly delicious flavor combination!


 
The flavor combination of this salad may sound a tad bit, well ... strange ... to some, but believe me, it's aMAZing.  The snap of fresh green beans, with the crunch of chopped walnuts, the saltiness of crumbled Feta, and refreshing zing of fresh mint pair just beautifully.  In a most surprisingly wonderful way.
My Mom is the one who first made this salad in our family.  We all immediately fell in love.  In my opinion, it's hard not to fall in love with such great flavor!

And it's pretty, too ... Don't ya think?  Just look at those bright colors!  Love it when yummy food is pretty too.  It's a nice bonus.


Much of the beautiful color in this salad comes from just-barely-blanched fresh green beans.  Blanching ... basically, cooking in boiling water for a teeny tiny bit of time and then immediately dunking in ice water to stop the cooking process {called 'shocking'} ... tenderizes vegetables to the bite while maintaining their vibrant color.

I adore the crunch of blanched vegetables.  I'm much more a fan of crunchy veggies than mushy ones.

So to whip up this flavorful salad, start by trimming and cutting some fresh green beans.


As you can see, I prepped my green beans on my favorite cutting board ... my personalized engraved cherryBLOX chopping block!  Yup, it's personalized with my blog's name ... a Christmas gift from my parents last Christmas, and I love it.

3-Ingredient Crescent Sausage Bites on my personalized chopping block

And now ... a completely shameless product promotion for cherryBLOX ... 'cause these things ROCK.

cherryBLOX are produced in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by family friends of ours, and The Kitchen is My Playground is very proud to partner with them to get the word out about their fabulous product.  The engraved chopping blocks ... which also make fabulous boards for serving ... come in two sizes, and can be personalized with almost anything.  

Visit cherryBLOX to create your personalized chopping block!  {And psssssttt ... it's never too early to think about Christmas shopping or a gift for that upcoming wedding.  Hint, hint.}

And now, back to blanching those beautiful green beans.

To blanch, I like to prepare one side of my two-sided sink with the ice water I'll need to shock the beans, and I place the colander to drain them when they're hot on the other side.



Once the beans are cooked for their very brief time, I drain them in the colander ... and then plunge them, colander and all, in the prepared ice water.


Then I simply pick the colander up out of the ice water to drain the beans again, and ... done!  A very easy way to handle the blanching-and-shocking process.


Next, combine all the dressing ingredients ... including that refreshing zing of fresh mint ... in a food processor ...


... and give it all a whirl.


Pour the minted dressing over the beans, which have been mixed with walnut, Feta, and chopped red onion ...


... and you've got yourself a beautiful bowl of one amazingly delicious salad.

Don't be afraid.  Make this.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  No, I know you will.

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Green Bean, Walnut, & Feta Salad
Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light magazine


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into about 2-inch pieces
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. diced red onion
  • 1 c. crumbled Feta cheese
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for only 3 minutes. Drain well and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Place green beans in a large bowl. Add walnuts, red onion, and Feta; gently stir to combine.
  3. Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to blend. Pour dressing over the bean mixture and toss. Chill for about an hour before serving.
Enjoy!



Please enjoy these other delicious salads from The Kitchen is My Playground ...
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

Broccoli & Apple Salad

Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus

Couscous Salad with Pomegranate Seeds & Mint

12 comments:

  1. Love your salad variety! Thanks so much for sharing this. Of course, I am pinning! I just popped over from the Marvelous Monday Linkey. I would love it if you dropped by for a visit at http://www.kneadedcreations.com . Happy Day to you! Deb @ Kneaded Creations

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  2. This salad looks so fabulous! I so pinned! I am putting green beans on my grocery list... :)
    YUM!!!
    :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Crystelle! You'll be so glad you got those green beans. :-)

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  3. This greenbean salad looks amazing, I'm going to try it!

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  4. You have a great blog. Amazing pics and recipes. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. 3/4 cup of olive oil? That has to be a mistake?

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  6. This looks so gorgeous. Any suggestion for a walnut substitute? I love them, but there's an allergy in the household so I have to leave them out, but I hate to lose the depth of flavor they provide.

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  7. Will try the green bean salad tonight & add asparagus & sweet potato cubes

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  8. I'm going to make this today to bring to a BBQ tonight! I'm so excited - LOVE everything you put in there, so I'm positive I'll love it. Will let ya know what I think!

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    Replies
    1. MADE IT! Delicious! I can't wait to devour it with my family tonight! Thanks for a wonderful recipe :D

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