Green bean salad with walnuts
I owe the inspiration for this salad to Anya von Bremzen, author of the excellent Please to the Table, a cookbook featuring the cuisines of all the former Soviet republics. The combination of green beans with garlic, walnuts and cilantro hails from the republic of Georgia, where the people are among the longest lived on earth.
For best results, mix the walnut dressing with the beans while they are still warm, and let the salad sit for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
1 pound (500 g.) fresh green beans
1 tsp. sea salt
1 small shallot
1 clove garlic
8 large walnuts or 1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. finely snipped fresh cilantro
Snip the ends off the beans. Rinse and drain.
Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add the sea salt.
While the water is heating, peel and mince the shallot and garlic. Shell the walnuts and crumble them into small pieces.
Add the beans to the boiling water. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until just tender. Drain.
While the beans are cooking, make the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir. Add the olive oil and stir again to make a smoothly emulsified sauce. Add the walnuts and cilantro. Stir again.
Add the beans to the sauce. Stir well. Remove to a serving dish. If you need to refrigerate the salad, remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Serves 4.