This recipe for green beans gets a zesty punch from the blood orange vinaigrette. It’s a perfect side dish for a summer BBQ! The blood orange vinaigrette would also make a great dressing for a brunch salad.
While most of the kiddos in Chicago are heading back to school today, I am sitting in my house enjoying a hot cup of coffee with the windows open. Getting Easter Monday off is one of the perks of working at a Catholic school. I mentioned that the windows were open, right?! OPEN. Begone, winter! See you next year! spring is finally on the horizon!
You know what is awesome about spring? The seasonal fruits and veggies that start to pop up at the grocery store and farmer’s markets. You start to see things like asparagus, ramps, peas, and fennel. The sheer RETURN of the farmer’s market is an exciting thing about spring.
On my weekly trip to the grocery store, I happened to see blood oranges were on sale so I picked up a few thinking I would enjoy them as a snack throughout the week. Lately, I’ve been using olive oil and lemon juice to dress my lunch salads and as I was washing my weekly produce haul, I wondered if I could make a delicious blood orange dressing for my salads.
A quick Pinterest search turned up this recipe from CHOW. I’ve adapted it below by swapping the vegetable oil out for extra virgin olive oil, adding some garlic, and sweetening it up just a hint by adding pure maple syrup. After portioning out enough dressing for the week, I had some left over so I decided to test it for an Easter side dish. I really wish I had experimented with this sooner because this dish was a winner!
This was such an easy side dish and would be a wonderful addition to a BBQ, picnic, or holiday meal. I think it would also be a great dressing for a breakfast or brunch salad. If the idea of a vinaigrette doesn’t appeal to you, you could always use those blood oranges to make a margarita!
Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- Juice from 3 medium blood oranges
- 1/2 teaspoon blood orange zest
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 small shallot
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 1 cup almonds, chopped and toasted
- Trim and cut the beans so they are roughly all the same length. I like to cut them on a slant so they look pretty on the plate.
- Boil the green beans in a large pot of salted water for 3 minutes.
- Immediately remove the beans and plunge them into a separate bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process so they maintain their bright green color.
- Toss with blood orange vinaigrette and toasted almonds.
- Garnish with a few extra toasted almonds and remaining orange zest.
- Roughly chop 1 cup of almonds.
- Spread evenly on a baking sheet and toast at 325˚ for 10-12 minutes. Watch them to make sure they do not burn!
- Reserve a small handful to garnish your green beans.
- Zest your oranges. Add 1/2 tablespoon to a blender or food processor. Reserve the rest for garnish.
- Add all of the ingredients (except the olive oil) to your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Slowly, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until well-combined.