Whenever I cook and prepare a meal, I always do my best to balance the meals out. I am old school, and follow the dietary pyramid. There is always a protein source, starches, and lots of veggies. There are many different versions of this dietary pyramid, but this is the one I feel is one of the healthiest and most balanced. Choose whatever one works best for you. I also do my best to pair the veggies and the starches with the protein or the “theme” I am showcasing with each meal.
When I served my Bavarian Goulash, which originally came from Hungary and then worked its way to Germany and other European nations, A Time for Bavarian Goulash, I also searched to find a good German vegetable dish as well. I came up with the green bean and walnut salad. As predicted, it was a good pairing and everyone raved about the meal. Since the goulash is a heavy, hearty plate, I wanted something a little lighter to go with it. Green beans were a perfect choice. I served mine on a bed of lettuce, only because I have a lot of lettuce to get through, and salad weather is quickly coming to a close here in my neck of the woods. I don’t think I would serve it over lettuce next time though. The lettuce distracted things a bit. I also did not have enough green beans. Live and learn though, right?!
Green Bean and Walnut Salad
1 1/2 lbs trimmed green beans
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
1 TBSP garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until they become slightly tender. Then drain and and wash in cold water and set aside.
Toast or roast the walnuts. You can roast them in the oven at 350* F or 180* C for about 7 minutes or until they are golden, or you can toast them in a dry skillet on top of the stove until they turn golden. I prefer the stove top method, but there is no wrong or right way to do this. Again, use whatever way you are comfortable with.
Dice the bacon and cook to your liking.
Once everything is cooked, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, walnuts, bacon and salt and pepper together and mix well. Spoon them over the green beans and serve immediately, while everything is still warm.
This is a quick, easy, colorful and delicious way to make sure you get your veggies. This salad will go with just about anything as well. I promise you’re going to love it, but then anything with bacon will always be a winner.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.