Green Goat Almondine
Okay, so that's not a great name. But this is a pretty great recipe, and I made it up all by myself. It gets its inspiration from green bean and feta salad, which is a staple for us. The basic concept of green beans, cheese, and vinaigrette is the same, but with new ingredients.
Green Goat Almondine
For the vinaigrette:
1 large clove garlic, peeled and mashed into a paste with a hefty dash of salt and pepper
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
2 Tbs. honey
6 Tbs. olive oil
Prep the garlic paste (I used a mortar and pestle, but you could just smush it with the flat of a knife) and stir into the vinegar, then whisk in the honey. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, drizzling as you stir to emulsify it. Set aside at room temp for a couple hours (ideally) so the flavors can blend.
The cooking part:
Boil whole, fresh green beans for 2 minutes; drain and put into serving dish. I measure this by the size of my (very average) serving dish — maybe a pound? I fill up the dish with raw beans and then I know I have the right amount before I cook them. The short cooking time gives them great color but keeps them nice and crisp.
In a small skillet, melt 2 Tbs. butter and toast about a half-cup of sliced almonds. Stir them around so they don't burn. When they start to smell nice and get golden brown, you're done. Scoop them out of the butter and over the beans before you burn them. Don't just dump all the butter in — it'll be too much.
Now give your vinaigrette a freshen-up whisking and pour it over the beans and almonds, tossing very gently. You probably only need about half of the vinaigrette — you don't need to drown it. Save the rest for salad, or serve some on the side because it sinks to the bottom of the serving dish pretty quickly.
Finally, crumble goat cheese over the top of the green beans. This can be to taste, but it's way easier to add more than pick out too much.
Here's our dinner:
We also had the gazpacho I made the other night, garnished with sour cream and halved cherry tomatoes. We also had French bread that Kirk made over the weekend, with some parmesan and olive oil for dipping.
This was a great, light supper for a summer night, and it didn't heat up the kitchen too much in the prep. I should also mention my other source of inspiration, which is a great book called The Flavor Bible. This book is a giant index of ingredients you'd cook with, and then each ingredient has its own list of other ingredients that pair well with it. So when Kirk said he was tired of feta and would rather have goat cheese, I scanned the list to see what else would taste good with goat cheese. Of the many items on the list were almonds and honey, so I took it from there and made this up. It's a great (if overwhelming) reference book for the kitchen.