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Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette Recipe

Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette Recipe

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  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus additional (for sprinkling)
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed slender green beans (such as haricots verts)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

Recipe Preparation

  • Whisk first 6 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Mix in dried cherries; set aside. DO AHEAD Vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature; rewhisk before using.

  • Fill large bowl with water and ice; set aside. Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl with ice water; cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in paper towels; enclose in resealable plastic bag and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.

  • Toss green beans, walnuts, and vinaigrette in large bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Transfer to platter and serve.

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 173.9 % Calories from Fat 72.2 Fat (g) 14.0 Saturated Fat (g) 1.6 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 10.8 Dietary Fiber (g) 4.4 Total Sugars (g) 4.7 Net Carbs (g) 6.4 Protein (g) 3.0 Sodium (mg) 219.1Reviews Section

Roasted Pumpkin, Arugula, & Dried Cherry Salad

I love all the different varieties of seasonal produce that are available every fall including winter greens, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and of course winter squash. Pumpkin, one of my favorite varieties of winter squash, is rich in potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. and is wonderful roasted, used in soups or stews, or mixed with other vegetables. I roasted cubes of pumpkin for this salad and mixed it with peppery arugula greens, which I then dressed with a light maple syrup kissed light vinaigrette.

You can use either baby spinach or arugula as your choice of greens, and although I use the pumpkin seeds I toasted after I scooped them out of my pumpkin, toasted walnuts are also great in this salad. I buy my dried fruit from Trader Joe’s and love their dried cherries which worked really well in the salad but dried cranberries would be a good substitution for the cherries, and would make this salad a great Thanksgiving option. Although I like my roasted pumpkin salad exactly as I show in my photos, you could also top it with some crumbled feta or goat cheese and both cheeses would work well with the sweetness of the pumpkin.

New and classic Thanksgiving Day sides recipes

If you want a smooth Thanksgiving dinner, now is a good time to begin planning.

Sure, the main meal will feature turkey, maybe ham, perhaps some cranberries and tasty dinner rolls. But what about the side dishes? Stick close to the usual, or try some new tastes?

Instead of spending the next couple of weeks ensconced in a mound of cookbooks or searching online for the perfect recipes, allow us to offer some suggestions for tasty and easy side dishes that are comforting and flavorful.

Four recipes come from the new &ldquoThe Old Farmer&rsquos Almanac Comfort Food,&rdquo by Ken Haedrich and the Almanac editors (Yankee Publishing, $19.95). It&rsquos available online at ComfortFood. We&rsquore talking classic favorites, such as garlic mashed potatoes, an incredibly rich pecan-crusted sweet potato casserole and a very flexible recipe for Roasted Autumn Vegetables that will work with whatever you can find at the grocery store or farmers market.

Two more recipes come from another new book, &ldquoCooking Allergy-Free,&rdquo by Jenna Short (The Taunton Press, $29.95). Roasted Lime Carrots and Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Dried Cherry Vinaigrette add new layers of flavors to holiday favorites. Yes, they&rsquore appropriate for people with various food allergies, but these recipes &mdash and many others from that book &mdash are downright tasty.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


We have had friends over for dinner a couple of times this month - a peaceful respite from the whirlwind of activity. It has been wonderful to spend time together, to just be able to sit and visit, to enjoy fabulous company, and simple food.

1 can white beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Drain the beans, reserving about 1/4 cup of the liquid.
Puree all of the ingredients together in a food processor, adding more liquid if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve at room temperature with warm crusty bread.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup champagne
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
5 cold eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F.
Grease and flour a bundt pan, set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir together champagne and sour cream.
In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, melted butter and oil with an electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes or until thicker and lighter in color.
Add one third of the flour mixture, mix on low just until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add half the wine mixture, beat just until combined. Repeat with one third of the flour mixture, the remaining wine mixture, and remaining flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Turn out on rack, cool completely. Drizzle with champagne glaze.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of champagne. Stir in additional champagne, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach drizzling consistency.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorites, 2012 Cookbook › Books › Cookbooks, Food & Wine

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This is a great side dish when you need to make dinner in a flash. The sweet and zesty flavors will impress the pickiest palate.

Oven-roasted potatoes are a great alternative to french fries and go well with any dish. Experiment with your favorite herbs and seasonings to find the perfect [&hellip]

Pancakes are a breakfast favorite. This version adds oats for a heartier texture and nutty flavor.

Pilaf is a flavorful rice dish in which the rice is lightly toasted with other flavors such as onion before simmering with water. You can easily [&hellip]

A perfect breakfast for when there is no time to cook! This simple and tasty parfait will help you get your day off to a healthy [&hellip]

Try a new twist on a classic salad. This Latin-inspired dish offers the fresh flavor of herbs and a just a hint of heat. While the [&hellip]

This roast will make you feel like it's Sunday at Grandma's house! Nothing could be easier to prep, just make sure you respect the standing time [&hellip]

If you make fresh pumpkin pie, save the seeds! After being washed and dried, pumpkin seeds can be roasted with a variety of seasonings for a [&hellip]

Stew is a classic comfort food on chilly evenings. This is a great way to use leftover turkey and eat more veggies. Add any of your [&hellip]

This is a simple, quick and healthy way to enjoy your leftover turkey. Tangy cranberries and crunchy nuts bring more texture and nutrition to this refreshing [&hellip]

Hot, steaming oatmeal is a welcome eye-opener on chilly mornings. This is like pumpkin pie in a bowl, but it can be enjoyed any time of [&hellip]

Vegetable side dishes don’t need to be complicated to be delicious or healthy. Pantry staples such as canned vegetables can be combined with herbs and savory [&hellip]

Start you day with one of these fragrant muffins. Make a double batch and freeze for breakfast on the go!

Cranberries and apples are a perfect sweet-tart combination for this delicious homemade dessert. Using one crust reduces the fat but the sweet goodness of fruit will [&hellip]

A simple brown sugar and butter glaze complements the natural sweetness of carrots, creating a sweet and savory side dish that kids will love! Carrots are [&hellip]

Spinach, like most leafy greens, is a nutritional super food! It is relatively high in iron compared to other plant foods, and is packed with a [&hellip]

Sautéing butternut squash in olive oil quickly yields perfectly cooked results and slightly caramelizes the squash for extra flavor. This recipe makes a delicious vegetable side [&hellip]

Making tortilla chips from scratch will help you stretch your budget and reduce your sodium intake. This recipe provides a healthier way to make tortilla chips.

This family friendly recipe is a fun and easy version of traditional lasagna, and it is a great way to get kids involved in the cooking [&hellip]

BBQ chicken is always a family-pleasing meal. This slow-cooker version will also be a favorite for the cook. It’s great to come home to the wonderful [&hellip]

Looking for a creamy and cheesy pasta dish that is also healthy? Well this recipe is just that. Enjoy cheddar and Parmesan cheese along with earthy [&hellip]

This quick, tasty side dish is packed with nutrition. It can also be used as a vegetarian main course. Beans have fiber and important nutrients we [&hellip]

Here’s a tasty variation of salsa with healthy avocado. You may want to make a double batch—the colors and flavor make it a crowd pleaser!

This simple, spicy side dish is a fresh alternative to packaged rice mixes, which may contain a lot of salt and artificial ingredients.

Wild Rice and Arugula Salad Tips

To make this salad in advance: You’ll want to cook the wild rice beforehand, at minimum. You could also whisk together the dressing, and compose the salad (don’t toss it with the dressing until you’re ready to serve). Store any components in the fridge, covered, for up to two days.

You can cook the wild rice in your Instant Pot, if you have one. It turns out great, and it’s nice not to babysit the pot while it’s cooking. See the recipe notes for details (I learned how to cook wild rice this way when I made this wild rice salad, from Megan’s The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook.

Don’t skip the toasted almonds step. Toasting the almonds brings a lot of irresistible savory flavor to this salad! The almonds can burn quickly, so don’t step away from the stove while they’re cooking.

Crumble the feta by hand. I always recommend crumbling your feta (or goat cheese) with a fork before using, rather than buying the pre-crumbled kind. Pre-crumbled is coated in powder to prevent clumping, and it doesn’t taste nearly as good (it’s also more expensive per ounce). The only exception to this rule that I’ve found so far is the crumbled feta by Organic Valley.

You can easily double the recipe for a larger crowd. As written, it yields 4 medium hearty salads, or could be stretched to up to 8 side servings. The arugula wilts down quite a bit (which is nice), but the wilting effect does make the salad look less substantial than it really is.

Please let me know how this salad turns out for you in the comments! I’m always so eager for your feedback.

Looking for more Thanksgiving-worthy salads? Here are a few of my top picks:

Recipe Summary

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • ½ (16 ounce) package frozen shelled edamame (soybeans), thawed
  • ¼ red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • ⅔ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries (such as Ocean Spray® Craisins®)
  • ½ cup cashew pieces
  • ½ cup shelled, roasted sunflower seeds

Whisk sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil together in a bowl until sugar is dissolved set aside.

Toss kale, edamame, red onion, carrot, blueberries, dried cranberries, cashew pieces, and sunflower seeds together in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Serve remaining dressing on side.

25 Stress-Free Christmas Dinner Recipes

A stress-free Christmas dinner? Easy peasy. From roast beef tenderloin with red wine sauce to rum cake, these tested and perfected recipes won't let you down -- and many of them can be made ahead of time so you can relax on the big day. Merry Christmas!

This show-stopping beef tenderloin with a deeply flavored, richly colored red wine sauce is delicious and deceptively simple. The sauce can be prepared mostly ahead of time so there's very little fussing at the last minute. GET THE RECIPE

This classic dish involves layering thinly sliced potatoes with heavy cream (a lot of it!) and grated cheese in a gratin dish, and then baking it until the cream reduces and blankets the potatoes in a rich, creamy sauce. GET THE RECIPE

Chicken Marbella is probably the most famous dish to come out of the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook by Julie Rosso and the late Sheila Lukins. The chicken is marinated a day ahead in garlic and herbs, and then baked with wine, brown sugar, prunes, capers and green olives. GET THE RECIPE

This rolled turkey breast with sausage stuffing beats a basic roast turkey any day of the year. Not only does it cook in just 1-1/4 hours, it can be made entirely ahead of time and is a cinch to carve. GET THE RECIPE

Most holiday sweet potato dishes are sweet enough to be dessert. But these mashed sweet potatoes are flavored with smoky, spicy chipotle peppers and sharp cheddar cheese, making them truly savory. GET THE RECIPE

You can't beat meltingly tender short ribs slow-cooked in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. And here's the best part: only 15 minutes of prep work and the oven does the rest. GET THE RECIPE

With a fluffy inside and a toasty crust, these rich and buttery biscuits are the best to ever come out of my oven. You can throw the dough together in ten minutes and enjoy the biscuits with your meal less than fifteen minutes later. GET THE RECIPE

You can't go wrong with a basic roast turkey for Christmas, and this is the easiest one you'll ever make. Serve it with stuffing, an over-the-top delicious gravy and cranberry sauce. GET THE RECIPE

Perfect for the holidays because it can be made ahead, this creamy Brussels sprouts gratin with a crunchy topping is always a crowd-pleaser. GET THE RECIPE

This sausage and herb stuffing relies on store bought stuffing cubes, which eliminates the step of slicing and drying out the bread. Believe me, when you are using a pound of sausage and an entire stick of butter, the bread does not matter much! GET THE RECIPE

In this festive dish, chicken is immersed in a honey, citrus, and chili-infused marinade, and then roasted on a sheet pan with carrots and dates. Before serving, herbs, scallions and pistachios are added for freshness, color, and crunch. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that's left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven. GET THE RECIPE

With so many other flavors on the table, it's perfectly fine to keep your green vegetable simple. This dish has only three ingredients, but is much more than the sum of its parts. GET THE RECIPE

Bake your stuffing separate from the bird so that you can make it ahead of time and ensure that it gets nice and crispy on top. This version, loaded with an earthy mix of onions and vegetables, pairs beautifully with simple roast turkey. GET THE RECIPE

Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts make this carrot slaw a colorful addition to your holiday feast. Plus, it's delicious with turkey sandwiches the next day. GET THE RECIPE

If you're a beet lover, you'll love (and maybe even obsess over) these simply prepared, gorgeous beets. They're oven-roasted, which intensifies their natural sweetness, and then tossed in a tart and syrupy balsamic reduction. GET THE RECIPE

This has got to be the easiest butternut squash soup recipe ever. You start with pre-cut squash from the supermarket, then basically throw everything in a pot, simmer it, purée it and you're done. It's still everything you expect a classic butternut squash soup to be: silky, slightly sweet and full of flavor. GET THE RECIPE

Focaccia is a flavorful and easy-to-make Italian flat bread that feeds a crowd. This classic version is topped with coarse salt and fresh rosemary but other toppings can be added, such as thinly sliced tomatoes, olives or grated cheese, to name just a few. GET THE RECIPE

A wonderful choice for Christmas dinner since it feeds a crowd and can be made ahead, this foolproof lasagna is made with a quick sausage bolognese sauce and no-boil lasagna noodles. GET THE RECIPE

Warm baked apples bubbling away in their own syrupy juices, topped with toasted pecans, old-fashioned rolled oats, and brown sugar -- served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's the ultimate cozy dessert. GET THE RECIPE

A rich, fudgy slab of flourless chocolate cake topped with peaks of light, marshmallowy meringue -- this cake is as impressive as it is delicious. It's also gluten-free. GET THE RECIPE

This dessert is a bit of a project but it's the ultimate sweet ending to your Christmas feast -- and no one will miss that tired ol' pumpkin pie. GET THE RECIPE

This crisp is a standout, thanks to the combination of sweet D'Anjou pears and tart dried cherries, which are plumped up in an orange-scented caramel syrup before baking. GET THE RECIPE

Spiked with bourbon and served with ice cream, this comforting bread pudding tastes like a grown-up brownie sundae. GET THE RECIPE

Inspired by the almond biscotti served at the celebrated Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, these Italian-style cookies are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet, crunchy but not tooth-shattering -- and delicious with after dinner coffee, tea or dessert wine. GET THE RECIPE

My grandmother loved to bake and was known near and far for her boozy butter and rum soaked pound cake. The cake was the hit of every family gathering, and no one ever passed through her kitchen without sneaking a thin slice. It's easy to make and perfect for the holidays! GET THE RECIPE