Marcona almonds are nothing like the brown California almonds most people are familiar with. Marconas have a rich, sweet flavor and moist, crunchy-chewy texture. They usually are roasted in oil and lightly salted. In this salad, they offer a great crispy, salty contrast to the green beans.
Aged gouda is similar to Parmesan, but with a creamy, smokier flavor. If you can’t find it, substitute chunks of Parmesan or cheddar. These green beans are seriously garlicky, making them a natural for Italian and Greek foods. Pair them with summer pasta and vegetable dishes.
Recipe courtesy of "High Flavor Low Labor" by J.M. Hirsch, copyright 2010. Used by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.
|1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed||Salt and ground black pepper, to taste|
|3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil||1 cup Marcona almonds, roughly chopped or crushed|
|3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar||1/4 cup crumbled aged gouda cheese|
|3 cloves garlic, minced|
Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer the green beans to the ice water.
When the green beans are cool, drain them again and spread them on a kitchen towel to dry.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and garlic, then season with salt and pepper.
Add the green beans to the vinaigrette, tossing them to coat. Add three- quarters of the almonds and cheese, then toss. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and cheese over the top.
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