My family has very few traditions, let alone traditional dishes for holidays, with one specific exception: this dish. When our far flung family happened to make it to the same table for Thanksgiving, we always had green beans with almonds, goat cheese and balsamic dressing. I find this dish to be the perfect balance of savory, sweet and crunchy.
My mom usually made a balsamic vinaigrette – oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper – but for this version I wanted to mix it up a bit. I’m still swooning over some aged balsamic vinegar I got this summer – the sweet version, aged 18 years – so I drizzled that instead. Of course a vinaigrette would be lovely as well, more acidic and less sweet.
Be careful not to overcook the beans; they should still have some snap. If you don’t like goat cheese, feta is a nice alternative or substitute walnuts for the almonds. Mixing them with the cheese makes for a creaminess, which in combination with the balsamic and crunch of the nuts I find to be perfection!
Balsamic Green Beans with Almonds and Goat Cheese
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 cup almond slices
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar (to taste)
Steam green beans for 10 minutes until tender. Place in large mixing bowl and add half of almonds and all of the cheese; drizzle balsamic over all and combine gently. Spoon onto serving plate and sprinkle remaining almonds on top and serve.
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