This recipe for warm chicken and green bean salad was born one day when I had a bowl of leftover green beans in my fridge, and since I have a strict No Ingredient Left Behind rule in my house, I was pondering what I could do with them other than serve them on the side of something else. Then I spied a hunk of feta cheese in my fridge as well, and the wheels started turning…what if I poached a chicken breast, shredded it up into bite-sized pieces, and then tossed it with the beans and the feta? And maybe some grains for extra heartiness? And a little while later I had a bowl of warm chicken salad deliciousness. Let’s make it!
My love for this tuna nicoise salad knows no bounds, because it lets me take a humble jar (yes, jar, and more on that later) of tuna and turn it into a veritable plate of elegance in as much time as it takes to boil up a few potatoes, eggs and green beans. Honestly, the vast majority of time it takes me to make this dish is spent on arranging the beans and egg wedges and potatoes as if they were about to get their picture taken for the cover of Vogue. If that wasn’t a factor (and I do this even when I’m not taking any pictures because I am an obsessive food stylist), this would be going from walk-in-the-door to supper plate in about 20 minutes. And more like 5 if I have been super organized and cooked the veggies and eggs in advance which you can absolutely do with this dish. Lightening-fast elegance for supper, that’s my motto!
Before I get into the specifics of these super easy roasted string beans with walnuts, can I just ask if anyone else out there is continually stumped by side dishes? I have more ideas for main courses and appetizers and of course desserts than I can possibly make, but then I inevitably get to that moment where I think oh yeah – vegetables. A vegetable would be good. And immediately I draw a complete blank that never happens when I am figuring out which of my one million cookie recipes to make next. As a result, I tend to make what I think of as Old Faithful veggie recipes over and over again. This plate of string beans with walnuts is one of those – good and good for you and easy and phew! Done with thinking about the side dish for one more supper.
This recipe was born out of a conglomeration of different events, which is how some of my favorite recipes happen. You aren’t planning them, but then you realize that you have an odd assortment of leftover bits and pieces in your fridge and pantry, and you start to get this feeling. The feeling that they just might work together as a delicious taste sensation. That’s what happened here, with a side of me doing my January New Year New You thing, which means that the Southern husband and only have S meals during this month. Seafood, Soup and Salad. This mash-up is a warm salad full of whole grains and veggies with a little zing provided by a little feta cheese and a few other things. Good and good for you can also taste pretty dang good!