“Starting tomorrow we are going to go back to eating more green vegetables.” I said this just after our family watched the fireworks ringing in the New Year on TV. “Why?” It was my youngest child’s first protest of the New Year, which lasted all of two minutes before he passed out. As I kissed him goodnight I could hear both of my daughters murmur disappointed sighs directed towards me, their killjoy.

If parents are the gatekeepers of what comes into the house and into their children’s belly, then certainly my kids have enjoyed my relaxed disposition when it came to holiday cookies, candy, and comfort foods. They took advantage of the times I was too busy during the holidays to Police food, and didn’t complain when my husband was taking them to eat out every night when an unexpected death in the family took me out of state for several days. However, when the clock struck midnight last Tuesday the holiday anytime buffet was closed.

With winter break ending soon and school starting again next week I’m back to cooking how I normally do – more whole foods, less rich and heavy meals, and a limited amount of treats.

Just because I’m preparing more green vegetables doesn’t mean these dishes are boring. Blanching vegetables and adding additional ingredients in small amounts to add layers of color, flavor, and texture is a great way to elevate the usual steamed variety.

Today I have a great Winter Green Bean Salad for you. Served either cold or warm, this dish is far from bland with its beautiful pomegranate arils, chopped pecans, and bits of creamy blue cheese. This is a great simple side dish to add to your winter menu, and is a regular in our rotation.
Happy New Year!

Recipe: Winter Green Bean Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 4 min(s)
  • Total Time: 15 min(s)
  • Servings: 4-6

A beautiful winter green bean salad with pomegranate arils, blue cheese, and pecans.


    1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    Kosher salt and pepper
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup pomegranate arils
    2 ounces creamy blue cheese, broken into small pieces
    2 tablespoons chopped pecans


    Blanch green beans in a pot of salted boiling water until for 3-4 minutes until crisp and tender.
    Drain the beans and run them under cold water.
    Return the beans back to the pot and drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    Toss the beans with the lemon juice and transfer to a serving plate.
    Evenly sprinkle the arils, cheese, and pecans on top.
    Serve immediately.

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