Weekend of Food, Day 2 dinner: Garlicky green beans in walnut oil

Wine pairing: Malbec

This is part of the Weekend of Food series – read more about our adventures here.

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When one has a piece de resistance as divine as naked duck breast, one needs a subtle, yet flavoursome side dish to complement it. We chose to have two – potato towers (or Pommes Anna) as well as these garlic-walnut green beans. Once again, the recipe was provided by my flatmate’s family (who also gave us the excellent garlic soup recipe). These green beans are slightly crunchy, zingy due to the garlic and vinegar, and have a slight nutty sweetness – a perfect combination. They’re very easy and quick to make, but will definitely impress any and all dinner guests!

Serves 7

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp best-quality walnut oil (trust me, this is worth investing in)
  • 500 g green beans, washed and ends trimmed
  • 30 g walnut pieces, toasted

First, make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking all the while, and set aside.

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Toast the walnuts by heating a non-stick pan on high heat (no oil or butter). Add the walnut pieces and stir often until they emit a wonderful, toasty smell. Make sure they don’t burn! Remove and keep aside.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans, blanche them briefly (about 4-5 minutes) until they are crisp-tender and then remove. Quickly whisk the dressing once more, and add the hot beans to it, along with the walnut pieces. Toss thoroughly and serve immediately with duck and Pommes Anna!

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