*This recipe is courtesy of Picnics: Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining by Sara Deseran/Chronicle Books LLC and Jonelle Weaver. Green beans are often paired with toasted almonds, but tossed with this creamy almond butter dressing, it’s double the pleasure. Almond butter can be found in health food stores and gourmet markets; ideally, look for the kind that has already been emulsified and doesn’t have to be mixed by hand. Mirin, a Japanese sweet rice wine, is available in most gourmet markets.
Tip: Don’t skip the toasted almonds strewn over the salad; they look beautiful and add a necessary crunch.
Option: Alternatively, if you are carrying this to a picnic or potluck, take the almonds and dressing to in separate containers and wait to toss them with the green beans until ready to serve.
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/2 cup creamy, unsweetened almond butter
- 5 tablespoons mirin
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds trimmed green beans
- 1 cup sliced natural almonds (about 4 ounces)
- 1 To make the dressing: Using a small-holed grater, such as a Parmesan grater, grate the fresh ginger over a medium bowl in order to catch the juice and the pulp. You should have about 1 teaspoon. To the same bowl, add the almond butter, mirin, vinegar, soy sauce, and salt. Use a whisk or fork to combine well.
- 2 Add the green beans to a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
- 3 In a large dry skillet over medium heat, add the almonds. Stir constantly, about 5 minutes, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from heat and let cool on a plate.
- 4 In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the dressing, using as much dressing as desired, and scatter it with the almonds.