Monday, November 19, 2012

Green beans and oyster mushrooms tossed in a nut oil vinaigrette – a modern take for a Thanksgiving side dish

Like many of you I’ve been thinking of what to serve as side dishes for Thanksgiving this year. I’m in the mood for fresher, more modern sides that compliment the turkey and not add any more richness than necessary to the meal - more 21st century if you will. Two of my favorite bloggers have inspired my green bean dish.

Cathy at Wives with Knives posted a very attractive haircots verts salad with hazelnuts and gorgonzola tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, recipe here, that can be served at room temperature. If you’re like me and have a hard time finding hazelnuts and often skip them because of that reason, Cathy’s Bavarian Nut Company now sells hazelnuts on line here, so consider that problem solved.

Joan at Foodalogue made-over the old 1950’s green bean casserole made with mushroom soup & topped with fried onions with a very inspired Italian green bean and porcini mushrooms dish with Parmesan Béchamel, recipe here. She creatively topped it with fried spaghetti to replace the standard canned onions. I know you will love both dishes.

Here’s my take on Thanksgiving green beans this year– crispy green beans & meaty oyster mushrooms tossed with a tangy shallot & nut oil vinaigrette and garnished with toasted walnuts. As Cathy said, a salad can be made in advance and that is a real plus at Thanksgiving when every available burner on your stove is prime real estate.

The nut oil vinaigrette is one of our favorite vinaigrettes and is fabulous tossed with baby greens and garnished with blue cheese crumbles. And it’s another reason to have a bottle of sherry vinegar on hand.

We will be guests this year for Thanksgiving dinner at the home of my brother-in-law, who is a diabetic. I always make sure I take at least one dish that suits his diet. It’s just the nice thing to do as a guest don’t you think? There’s no reason to save this salad for Thanksgiving. It’s perfect any time of the year and can easily be doubled and tripled for a crowd.

Green beans and oyster mushrooms tossed with a walnut oil vinaigrette 
From My Carolina Kitchen – serves 4 to 6 – easily doubled

1 pound fresh green beans, stems removed
¼ pound fresh oyster mushrooms, stems removed, gills cleaned if necessary, torn or cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dry sherry
A handful of walnuts as a garnish, optional but delicious

Nut oil vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons peeled & minced shallots
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut or hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral flavored oil such as canola
Maldon salt or other coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salt water to boil over high heat. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the trimmed & sliced mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms frequently while cooking. When the mushroom liquid has evaporated completely, cook another minute or two to brown slightly. Off of the heat, add the sherry and stir. Return to the heat, stir well for a moment, then turn off the heat and leave the mushrooms to rest in the skillet for now.

Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar with a tight fitting lid, shake well and set aside.

Drop beans into boiling water, cover, and bring the water back to a boil. When water returns to a boil, remove the cover and turn heat down to medium and cook until beans are crispy tender, about 7 minutes, depending on the size of your beans. Drain beans well, place in a large bowl, and toss with the vinaigrette, a little bit at a time, tasting while you go, over the still warm green beans. You will probably have some vinaigrette left over, which will keep well in the covered jar in the refrigerator for another green salad.

In the meantime, toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat, shaking the pan constantly to prevent burning. Continue to toast the nuts until they begin to brown and become fragrant. Remove the nuts to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then chop very coarsely and set aside.

Add mushrooms to the beans and toss well. Taste for seasonings. Pile high on a platter and garnish with the toasted walnuts if desired. Can be served right away or at room temperature.

* * *

Cookbook give-away results

Thank each of you that participated in the cookbook giveaway. The winner of Foolproof by Ina Garten is Ocean Breezes & Country Sneezes. The winner of Savoring the Hamptons is Savoring Time in the Kitchen. Congratulations to you both. Please contact me at samhoffer (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address.

This will be linked to On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable and Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms & Food on Friday at Carol's Chatter.


  1. A beautiful salad! This combination makes me salivate.



  2. Oh Sam~ I am so jealous! While you are having this delightful green bean side dish... we are having classic green bean casserole! It's a must at our table. Those green beans look luscious!
    Happy Thanksgiving, dear friend!

  3. Green beans and mushrooms are such a wonderful combination but I had not thought of adding nuts in this way - perfect! I think this will grace my Thanksgiving table :))
    Mary x

  4. I collect vinaigrette recipes like I used to collect shoes, this is definitely going in my collection :)

  5. Ahh congratulations to the winners:) nana2:)
    This sounds so good..I loved Cathy's too..

  6. thank you! I always and was planning to do my standard green beans with bacon and onions for thanksgiving but now you have given me a reason to add in mushrooms:)

  7. I love the nut flavors in this dish... can't wait to try it, pinning. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. Cathy's recipes are always so reliable and DEElicious....and dependable. This looks like a great choice for our upcoming feast. We celebrated yesterday with one bunch of the family and I made Green Bean Bolognese with some Benton's bacon that Larry and Bev brought us. omg. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Sam and Meakin. Hugs.

  9. Sam: This looks delicious for any feast!

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  10. Such deliciousness, I can't wait to try this! I'll have to wait for another meal than Thanksgiving day: I have learned the hard way not to tinker with my Thanksgiving menu lest I want to hear a sad little voice from some corner of the table, "Where are my green beens tossed with olive oil and garlic?".

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,

  11. A fantastic salad, Sam. Totally droolworthy with the walnut vinaigrette.

  12. Mmmmm that looks like my kind of dish. Will give this a try. Have a great week Diane

  13. Wow, that looks delish! And you have such good photography skills!

  14. I love string bean salad and your vinaigrette sounds delicious. Thanks also for mentioning my makeover of the casserole.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Meaken and all those around the table.

  15. This sounds delicious and something I would truly love! I'm copying and pasting as an idea for next year since my menu is already set in stone ;)

    I'm thrilled to win one of the cookbooks, Sam!!! Thank you so much and I'll be in touch with my information.

  16. The salad looks great Sam! Happy Thanksgiving-enjoy:@)

  17. This would be great for Thanksgiving or anytime really. Happy Thanksgiving!

  18. If you want to get really crispy onions for your casserole try Loeb Onion Crunch if you can find it there. Blows Durkee's away. This all looks great Sam. I hope you and Meakin have a great Thanksgiving.

  19. this looks divine happy thanksgiving guys

  20. Thank you for a green bean recipe without all of the mushroom soup smothering! Another superb recipe for the holidays or anytime!

  21. Hi, Sam, I am not a fan of the usual green bean casserole. Your salad is more to my liking. Will definitely be trying it, but first I must buy the oils and the mushrooms. I'll probably be the only one eating it, because I am surrounded by carboholics who detest healthful eating. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Meakin.

  22. beautiful! great for the vegans too!!

  23. I agree with Chris above- go with Onion Crunch!

  24. I have used the Onion Crunch product as well and it is better. Not oily and more onion flavor.

  25. Thanks for this. I want green beans, but really dislike the traditional casserole. This will do nicely, instead. We have pork instead of turkey, but green beans are still the perfect accompaniment.

  26. Sam, thanks for joining in the Food on Friday fun. Happy Easter


Thank you for stopping by.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.