Tender green beans, crunchy fried almonds, creamy goat cheese, and sweet-tart cranberries! I love this salad and make it all the time.
This is just about the only green bean salad I ever make. Oh, I may throw some green beans into various salads I eat, but, if I want a green bean salad, this is where I go. I’m pretty certain that I’ve made this salad for everyone I’ve cooked for in the past several years since it is just so completely awesome and tasty.
I made the pictured one here a few weeks ago for my parents (they loved it too!) and I made it again last night with what is probably the last of the local green beans for the year. This salad has a permanent central place in my meal planning and I think once you try it, it’ll have a place in yours as well.
Once I have my beans all trimmed and I’m waiting for the water to finish coming to a boil, I start sauteing the almonds. They only take a few minutes to get all golden and toasty so they can be done and cooling while the green beans finish up. I think it’s possible the almonds are my favorite part of the salad, so don’t skip them! Do, however, make sure you sprinkle a little salt over them once they are done.
I frequently make this salad just with the green beans, basically because they are all I can find at the supermarket most of the time, but I love mixing the yellow and green beans together. It makes a pretty salad even prettier! So, if you have some yellow beans, add them in.
When I made this for parents, my daughter and I were visiting for the week. Mom and I went to the farmer’s market in the morning and bought the beans. (And some delicata squash, which we ate the next night.) That evening the weather was gorgeous, so we sat out on the deck and enjoyed the view of Mount Greylock – my parents have the best view of Mount Greylock ever – while sipping wine and eating green bean salad. It was a good evening and, now that the weather has changed, something we will probably not do again until next year.
Now, if green beans are not available when you have a craving to try this salad, it does work with broccoli as well. Just make sure you blot out most of the water from the florets after you cook them. Also, feta is nice in place of the goat cheese. If I’m using feta, I like to soak it in some fresh water while I’m making the rest of the salad. That makes the feta a little softer and a little milder.
- 1 lb green beans, or a mix of green and yellow
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup blanched, slivered almonds
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 tbsp dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, blanched and pressed
- kosher salt
- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water.
- Trim the ends of the beans. Cook beans in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. (4 minutes for very thin green beans.) Drain and then plunge the beans into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- While beans are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small fry pan on medium heat. Add almonds and saute, stirring frequently, until almonds turn medium brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer almonds to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle them with salt.
- Combine beans, goat cheese, and cranberries in a large serving bowl. Whisk together dressing and pour over beans. Toss to combine. Top salad with almonds and parsley.