The finished green bean salad. Photo: CC-Laurel Fan
The versatility of green beans to adapt to different flavors makes them an incredible side that compliments almost any meal. This is a beautiful dish that blends ease with elegance. The nuttiness of the almonds contrasts tartness of the cherries and because the beans are blanched, they cook to crisp perfection. This salad makes for an incredible bite.

Cherries are high in iron and antioxidants and their flavor lends this dish to be enjoyed by even the pickiest of veggie-phobes.
 
Ingredients:
1 ½ pounds green beans
1/3 cup minced shallots
2 tbsp chopped mint
1/3 cup dried cherries
½ cup toasted slivered almonds
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil   
3 tbsp plus 2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar

Preparation:
Cherry vinaigrette can be made up to one day ahead. Keep covered and chilled; bring to room temperature before re-whisking to serve.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, shallots, red wine vinegar, mint, salt and sugar. Stir in cherries and set aside.

While a large pot of water comes to a boil, fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Add beans to boiling water and let cook until tender and crisp, no more than 5 minutes. Drain and transfer beans to the ice bath to cool. Drain once more.

Toss cooled beans with the cherry vinaigrette and almonds. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve on a platter.

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