Friday, May 15, 2009

Fassolakia me Koukounaria kai Katsikisio Tyri--Green Bean, Pine Nut and Goat Cheese Salad

For some strange reason it had been a really long time since we'd had green beans. I don't know why ... the kids adore them, my husband loves them and I enjoy them too. But for most of this winter whatever green beans made it to our local fruit and vegetable markets looked kind of drab and lifeless ... never making it into my shopping basket.

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 ...

12 comments:

5 Star Foodie said...

Lovely green bean salad - I like the combination with pine nuts and goat cheese!

Kiki said...

what a great idea - i must def try it!

Hopie said...

This looks like a wonderful combination of flavors! I'm with you on sautéing instead of blanching. I find it has more flavor. I'll have to give this a try.

Peter G said...

Who doesn't like fasolakia? I like the mixture of ingredients here...all working very harmoniously. And I can't just imagine the crunch of the beans and pine nuts!

Ivy said...

This is very original Maria. Must try them your way.

elly said...

Yum, Maria. I love green beans with pine nuts or walnuts, but I've never added goat cheese. And I thought I had tried goat cheese with everything! I'll be giving these a try.

Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88 said...

I like warm salad, and yours is so healthy, very nice idea, a must try.

Konstantina said...

I have never tried green beans with goat cheese (which I love by the way!). I must definitely try it! And it has been ages for me too since I last ate fassolakia!

Peter M said...

I know this is usually a side but I could eat this like a main course...with those nice big chunks of cheese.

FoodJunkie said...

What a tasty way to serve beans!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Maria, these look wonderful. I've never thought to add goat cheese to them. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe my friend. :)

tobias cooks! said...

I love Koukounaria. Great recipe. thanks!