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Fresh Bean and Hazelnut Salad

6 cups mixed greens
1 pound fresh green beans
1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
8 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and place green beans in the boiling water and blanch for several minutes. Remove and place in cold water to prevent further cooking. Place mixed greens, in a bowl. Drain cold water from green beans and add them to the mixed greens along with hazelnuts and Feta cheese. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, dry mustard, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper in a cruet and shake. Just before serving pour over salad and toss. You are going to love this salad. The beans go very well with the greens (and rhyme as well); just don't overcook the beans. They should still be very crunchy. The dressing is very tasty and the oregano adds a nice touch to the traditional vinaigrette base. If you are not familiar with hazelnuts then you are in for a treat. These crunchy little goodies work wonders in a salad. Finally, the Feta cheese adds some wonderful flavor and texture that really tops off this fine salad.

The Skinny: Not much you can do to improve here. The Feta cheese is lower in fat than most other cheeses so at least you have that benefit. You could leave out the hazelnuts but then you would be missing something special and it is not a good idea to deny yourself something special.
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