Holiday Feature


Green Beans & Pecans Salad


Every rich meal needs something acidic to contrast the flavors. If you are short on time, then make simple green salad, adding sliced radishes or red bell peppers for color. It will do just as well.

But if you feel more creative, try this vegetable as a salad. It's almost as easy and tastes delicious, although the use of green beans and pecans make it a bit more filling than just a simple green salad. Here's a some tips for making this salad easily:

  • Toast the pecans as much as a few weeks in advance and freeze.
  • You may also make the vinaigrette that morning and set aside (or follow the timetable in this section).
  • Prepare the beans for steaming that day. Steam the beans within an hour or so of serving and leave at room temperature.
  • Dress the beans and nuts just before serving.
For the pecans:
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 cups shelled pecan halves

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (2 to 3 whole lemons)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds green beans

Heat peanut oil over medium heat. Add pecans and salt to taste. Toast lightly, stirring constantly. (Nuts cook quickly, be careful not to burn them.)

Whisk lemon juice, sugar, and mustard together, then slowly drizzle in corn and walnut oil until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Or, use a hand-blender to make the whole thing go quicker and emulsify better.)

Trim beans and cut into 3 inch lengths. Place in a microwavable serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap, leaving a slight space for steam to escape. Steam until crisply tender. (You may also use a regular steamer.) Rinse with water to arrest the cooking process. Drain thoroughly.

Lightly coat the beans with the dressing, adding only as much dressing as you need, and toss in the nuts. Adjust the salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

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This page modified November 2006

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