Sunday, March 7, 2010

Green Beans with Balsamic Vinegar, Toasted Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

I absolutely love green beans and eat them as a side dish all the time. Normally, I boil them for just a few minutes before tossing them with some butter and salt and pepper. Simple and delicious! This weekend, though, I had an idea and was ready to try something a little different.

I sauteed my fresh green beans in olive oil until they were lightly browned, then glazed them with a bit of balsamic vinegar. I tossed in some walnuts that I had toasted earlier to concentrate their flavour, and, once the nuts were warmed through, I sprinkled in some goat cheese crumbles. The aromas coming out of the pan were incredible.

Well, it turns out that I have a new favourite way to enjoy green beans! I loved the combination of the acidic balsamic glaze, the meaty walnuts, and the tangy, slightly melting goat cheese with the crisp-tender green beans. There were so many flavours present, but they all came together in a way that made perfect sense to my taste buds.

This dish brought a little bit of fancy to a comforting meal of (Jeff's epic) meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I'm not saying that I'm going to give up on my usual boil-and-butter method; rather, I'm just excited to have yet another great way to enjoy delicious green beans.

Green Beans with Balsamic Vinegar, Toasted Walnuts, and Goat Cheese: The Recipe
Amanda's notes: I made this on the fly, so keep in mind that the amounts listed in this recipe are very approximate! Just trust your instincts with this dish, because you can't go wrong.

1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 cups toasted walnuts*, roughly chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Saute green beans in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat, 6-8 minutes. A couple of minutes before the green beans are cooked to your liking, drizzle them with balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat. Add toasted walnuts, stirring until they are heated through. Sprinkle with goat cheese; reduce heat to low, cover pan for a few minutes until the cheese is slightly melted. Season to taste; serve immediately. Enjoy!

*To toast walnuts: Spread nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast in a 400F oven until lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.
Alternatively, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add nuts, shake continuously until lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes.
Allow nuts to cool before chopping.


  1. Yum! I will definitely try this

  2. Great! Let me know how you like it, Kris!

  3. I really enjoyed this meal. I love green beans and incorperating nuts into main dishes is a really nice treat, but what really stood out was the goat cheese.

    I'm still developing a taste for goat cheese, but I must say that this meal was my best goat cheese experience to date. It was off the hook!

    Great work. Love you.