Spring Entertaining: Walnut-Goat Cheese Spring Salad

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Southern Socials

Walnut-Goat Cheese Spring Salad

Young & tender green beans, a smattering of fresh herbs, lemon juice & tangy goat cheese welcome the season flawlessly. Walnut-Goat Cheese Spring Salad is simple to make & it’s brimming with good flavor & texture. A little quinoa gives the salad a modern lift while quenelles of chèvre offer visual interest & tangy taste. Learn how to make a beautiful side dish perfect to serve for Easter celebrations & all throughout the spring season. 

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makes 8 servings

8 oz haricot verts, rinsed & stems removed
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted walnuts 
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup spinach leaves 
3 oz goat cheese

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a Dutch oven over High heat. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water & ice. Drop the haricot verts into the boiling water & blanch 2 minutes. Drain & immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain once the beans are cold, about 5 minutes. Vigorously toss them around in the colander to release as much water as possible. Cut them into approximately 1 1/2-inch pieces. Chill. Bring the water & the salt to a boil over Medium-High heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa in fine wire mesh colander & stir it into the water. Reduce the heat to Medium-Low & simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat & uncover the quinoa. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork & transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the quinoa with the olive oil & the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well to combine. Chill 1 hour, then stir in the haricot verts, lemon juice, the walnuts & the pepper. Taste & adjust the salt level. Arrange the spinach leaves over salad plates, top with the quinoa mixture then quenelles of goat cheese. Season with additional salt & pepper.

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How To Prep & Blanch Haricot Verts

Haricot verts are pretty versatile as they may be served as a simple side dish, with salads, accompany appetizers or arranged with other vegetables on a serving tray & offered with delicious dips. Cooking haricot verts for a short amount of time retains nutrients & brings out their rich, vibrant color. Unlike green beans, there is no string to remove as these are very tender vegetables. Simply snap the stem end away & place them in a colander then rinse well under cool water. The blanching process can be executed several hours in advance of a meal then finished quickly just before serving, if desired.

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Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a Dutch oven over High heat. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water & ice. Drop the haricot verts into the boiling water & blanch 2 minutes. Drain & immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain once the beans are cold, about 5 minutes. Vigorously toss them around in the colander to release as much water as possible.

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“Did I Remember” Billie Holiday

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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