Green Beans with Apricots and Walnuts
It has been a while since I have shared a really good side dish — and this is a really good one! I have about 5 recipes in waiting to be published, but I have to hold back and give this little recipe a chance to shine. I came up with it on the fly as an accompaniment to my yummy Spicy Shrimp Tacos. As I was picking up a few dinner ingredients, a stand of beautifully bright & fresh ((and very long)) green beans caught my eye. The kiddos love fresh green beans and begged me to buy a bundle.
Um, kids begging me to buy something green, that grows … out of the ground?! Sold.
As dinnertime approached, I began daydreaming about the possibilities that could come from these green bean beauties. I did my usual mental inventory of the fridge, pantry & freezer and within seconds I had a plan:
- dried apricots
- freshly harvested sweet white onion
- green beans
Why dried apricots & walnuts? I think they are good at making ordinary into extraordinary. And having them on hand gives me a subtle comfort in the truth that I have options. (back to my old “don’t tie me down” mentality. Yes, I have issues, haha.)
I snapped the stems off of the beans and cut them into 2″ pieces and tossed them into a braiser. I cooked them off in 1″ of boiling water (about 10 minutes).
Once the beans are tender, I drained them and shocked them in an ice bath. Shocking locks in the bright green color, making these green beans extra green AND extra pretty.
Meanwhile, I thinly sliced the onion & cut the apricots into strips.
I tossed it all back in to the braiser over medium flame. The goal is to caramelize the onions, toast the walnuts and plump the apricots. Season to taste with your favorite steakhouse seasoning blend and stir occasionally until ready to serve.
The sweet & tangy apricots, mixed with the earthy, toasted walnuts – tossed in with fresh, tender green beans and caramelized onions — are just the perfect side dish! A breeze to make and a powerhouse of flavors. Winner, winner — green bean dinner!
- 1 lb of fresh green beans, stems cut and trimmed into 2" pieces
- 2 t canola oil
- 3/4 c dried apricots, cut into strips
- 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 c walnut halves
- 1/2 t steakhouse seasoning blend
- Over medium flame, add trimmed green beans to a large skillet or braiser. Cover the beans with 1" of water. Bring the beans & water to a boil and allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until green beans are tender but remain bright green.
- Drain the beans and add them to an ice bath. This halts the cooking process and helps retain the bright green color of the beans.
- Add beans back to skillet, along with remaining ingredients, cook over medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes, until walnuts are toasted and onions are slightly caramelized. Stir occasionally to keep the walnuts from burning. Season to taste and serve.