Green Bean Salad with Cilantro Sauce


(Adapted from a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook)


Serves 4 (double to serve 8)


2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped a bit

1 garlic clove, unpeeled

1¼ cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems, tough stem ends trimmed (about 1 bunch)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 green onion, sliced thin

1/4 teaspoon salt 

A grind or two of black pepper

1 pound green beans, trimmed

1.   Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and garlic clove. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a small plate.

2.   Let the garlic cool for a couple of minutes and then peel the clove and chop it up.

3.   Put the cilantro, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, green onion, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 1 minute, or until it’s smooth. You may have to stop the processor to scrape down the sides. Put the cilantro sauce in a large bowl.

4.   Fill a second large bowl halfway with ice and water.

5.   Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When it’s boiling add 1 tablespoon of salt and the green beans. (If you double the recipe, still use 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt.) Cook the beans for 4 minutes, then drain them and add them to the ice bath.

6.   Let the beans chill for about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry a bit with paper towels.

7.   Put the drained beans in the bowl with the cilantro sauce. Gently toss so the sauce is distributed well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.