Okay. Let’s get back to fall. In reality, this dish is perfect year-round, but I’m sharing it this week because I think it would make a fabulous side dish at Thanksgiving. I’m always looking for healthy side dishes for the holidays and since green beans seem to make an appearance at most Thanksgiving dinner tables, I thought I would share a very YUMMY (and healthy) way to make them this year.
This green bean salad is to-die-for. Yes, I’m serious. You’re probably thinking that there’s no way that green beans would ever be considered to-die-for, but guess what!? You’re totally wrong because I found this recipe and it completely qualifies! I made a fancy dinner to go alongside these babies and the green beans totally won my hubby over. Hands down, he said this salad was the best part of the meal. And, he doesn’t even really like green beans! So, that’s saying something HUGE!
The green beans are cooked so they are crisp-tender, then placed in an ice bath to stop them from cooking (which also keeps their color a nice, vibrant green) and cools them down. They are mixed with the grape tomatoes and then drizzled with a simple balsamic dressing. Just before serving, feta cheese is mixed throughout. The result . . . delicious, crisp-tender green beans that want you going back for more and more and more and . . . well, you get the idea! It’s just so good and fresh and flavorful!
Besides being down-right delicious, the salad is pretty too! I think it is totally worthy for holiday meals and it’s also WAY easy to throw together for any weeknight meal too. Thus, it’s a recipe to keep in your back pocket. Right!?
A couple of tips for the beans. I bought mine at Costco and they were of the best quality. You can usually find them in your local grocery store (produce section) too. When cooking the beans, you want to cook them to the tenderness you prefer. However, you don’t want to let them over-cook or they’ll be mushy and not so awesome. I prefer mine slightly on the crisp side, so I cooked mine for about 7 minutes. I wouldn’t cook yours longer than 10. And, don’t forget to have your ice bath ready because you’ll need to transfer them right to the ice bath after cooking.
Now start planning to make the best green bean recipe you’ve tried in years (or in forever!).
Fresh Green Bean Salad With Balsamic Dressing
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed if desired
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
pepper, to taste
2 ounces reduced fat feta cheese
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook green beans until tender, 5-10 minutes.
While they cook, prepare a large bowl with an ice water bath. Immediately drain the beans into a colander and place the drained beans in the ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking. (This will keep them bright green and perfectly tender.)
Drain the beans and pat them dry. Toss them in a bowl with the tomatoes.
For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the green beans and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and chill for at least an hour or up to 3 hours before ready to serve.
Stir in the feta cheese right before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 the Recipe)
Fat: 8.8g (2g = Sat.)