Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So easy: Green bean hazelnut salmon salad

Most nights, I'm scrambling to get dinner on the table. Something that's healthy, fresh, delicious. And doesn't take a couple days to plan and make.

Many nights, I rely on Debbie Koenig's brilliant book Parents Need to Eat Too. Each recipe is tested by over 100 moms with kids running around the house! So you can be sure they're all pretty easy, with ingredients that are probably close at hand.

Green Bean, Hazelnut, and Mint Salad with Lemon DressingNgoc Minh Ngo

But last week, I turned to my latest copy of Sunset magazine to find this beautiful recipe for Green Beans, Hazelnut and Mint Salad with Lemon Dressing.


  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 8 cups packed green beans (about 3/4 lb.), stems trimmed and strings removed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spread nuts out on a baking pan and bake until golden under skins (break one to test), 10 to 15 minutes. When nuts are cool enough to handle, rub in a kitchen towel to remove as many skins as possible. Chop coarsely and set aside.
2. In a 4- to 6-quart pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just crisp-tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and plunge beans into a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the mint leaves, lemon peel, lemon juice, and salt to make the dressing. Drizzle in the hazelnut oil, whisking constantly.
4. In a large bowl, gently toss the beans with dressing and hazelnuts. Serve at room temperature.
I made this extra easy by toasting the nuts in my toaster oven and using Trader Joe's green beans you can microwave in a bag. I know, I know- microwaving food in plastic is a very bad idea. Probably I should have emptied them into a bowl and zapped. But I take shortcuts here and there and generally don't feel too bad about them. 
Because we got an awesome salad out of this! 
Where's the salmon? To add protein, I added a can of wild sockeye salmon and mixed it in. The lemon worked beautifully with the fish and my kids loved it. I bet hard boiled egg would be fabulous too.
What are your go-to dinner ideas?