Nothing makes me happier than finding the freshest of the fresh ingredients. I came across some green beans that were too pretty to cook — I wanted to keep them as fresh and crisp as possible. I settled on a cold salad (from allrecipes) finished with a simple vinaigrette. The Champagne Balsamic Vinegar adds a beautifully clean and crisp flavor to the vinaigrette.
Green Bean & Blue Cheese Salad ~ Champagne Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
3 T olive oil
1 T champagne balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil (at least twice as much water by volume as the amount of beans
you want to blanch). When the water is boiling, add the beans and let them boil until tender crisp (about 3-4
minutes). Immediately shock the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserves the bright
2. Preheat a non-stick skillet on high, turning it down to medium just before adding pecans. Stir pecans with a
wooden spoon continuously so they will cook evenly and not burn. Remove toasted pecans when they start
to become fragrant and turn slightly darker.
2. In a medium bowl, combine beans, onion, and pecans.
3. Combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a cruet or small jar.
4. Add vinaigrette to bean mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least an hour prior to serving. Add
blue cheese just before to serving.