The other day though I came upon a fresh batch of slender green beans and I picked two bags right up. I was roasting some whole chicken legs again that day and I decided I wanted a light side dish to accompany them, so I came up with this no-fuss green bean salad. In hindsight, I would have liked to have seen some shallots make it into this dish in place of the garlic. But this simple saute was still packed with flavor as the nutty pine nuts and mellow goat cheese gave these tender green beans tons of character.
I often have a few spectators waiting around to taste a dish while I'm trying to snap a picture of it. As you can see here, this little guy took the plate right out from under me just as I was wrapping up these pics! It's safe to say this green bean salad is a very kid-friendly dish ...just look at that happy smile!
Warm Green Bean, Pine Nut and Goat Cheese Salad
Makes 4 servings
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/3 to 1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the pine nuts. Once the pine nuts look toasted and golden, add the garlic and stir for a few seconds longer. Add the green beans and give them a good stir. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat until the green beans are just tender but still bright green. Season with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, add the splash of balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese. This is great served slightly warm or even at room temperature.
Note: I tend to like to throw green beans in my skillet and saute them til tender, while most others like to blanch them in boiling water and then place them in ice water to stop the cooking process. So, the choice is yours ...