NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 21, 2012

Stepping up the Sides

Soup, veggies can impress as much as the turkey

(Continued)

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For those hosts seeking to serve a more exciting side dish than the traditional green bean casserole, here’s a recipe that can impress with its flavors without requiring endless hours of prep — blanched asparagus and haricots verts. The vegetables get nothing but a quick blanching in boiling water, then are dressed on a platter with olive oil, golden raisins and goat cheese. That’s it.

ASPARAGUS AND HARICOTS VERTS

WITH GOAT CHEESE AND PINE NUTS

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 8

1 teaspoon olive oil, plus additional for drizzling

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 tablespoon ground coriander

Salt

1 pound haricots verts, trimmed

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed of woody ends, sliced lengthwise

1/4 cup chopped golden raisins

1/2 cup grated firm goat cheese

In a medium skillet over medium, heat the 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the pine nuts and cook just until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the coriander and season with salt. Set aside.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Blanch the haricots verts in the boiling water until bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to immediately remove them to the ice water. Repeat the process with the asparagus, cooking it for 4 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks.

Drain and pat dry the vegetables, then arrange them on a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil, then top with the pine nuts, raisins and goat cheese.

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