Mary Anne here. As I write this post, my most beautiful and cherished grandson is exactly 5 weeks old today, and I am The.Happiest. Nana. Ever. As a doting Nana, these past weeks have blown by in a whirl of cooking, cleaning, soothing, and savoring every delicious moment whilst tending to my exhausted daughter as she nurtures and learns about her “lil man.” All of us in these parts are simply and singularly in love.
This of course is the reason I haven’t posted in what seems like forever, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking! It’s just that these days my goal is to whip up easy, nutritious meals that Mariel can eat with one hand while she holds that bundle of boy in the other – and getting it into her hand has to be as simple as her walking to the fridge.
Upon coming home from the hospital and entering the seemingly endless twilight zone of post-partum sleep deprivation coupled with waves of love and raging hormones, this vitamin-packed salad was the very first thing I dished up for my pooped daughter. I had planned well and accumulated lots of vacation time, so I was able to stay with this new family for 2 straight weeks. And while those magical days ended too quickly, not before I managed to stuff her fridge and freezer with some goodies. Hopefully I’ll find the time to write a few of my new recipes, but for now I need to finish this post and get down to the kitchen and prepare for my girl’s coming week!
Green Bean Salad with Smoked Gouda and Tart Apples
For the salad:
½ lb. fresh green beans, washed and trimmed – $2.29
¼ lb. smoked Gouda, diced – $1.75
4 celery ribs, cut into match sticks – $1.99
2 Granny Smith or tart apples, sliced paper thin (I used my food processor for this job!) – $0.99
For the dressing:
1 Teaspoon celery seeds – stock
3 Teaspoons Dijon-style mustard – stock
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar – stock
½ cup canola oil – stock
2 Teaspoons honey – stock
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped – $1.99
salt and pepper
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $9.01
Total Per Serving: $2.25
1. Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the celery seed, mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisking constantly, gradually add the oil in a slow and steady stream and blend until emulsified. Stir in the honey and cilantro, combining thoroughly. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, blanch the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and slice the beans on an angle into thirds.
3. In a medium bowl, toss the cheese, celery, and green beans with about 2/3rds of the prepared dressing.
4. In a separate bowl toss the apple slices with the remaining dressing, coating well.
5. Arrange the green beans decoratively on a serving platter or individual salad plates. Top with the apple slices and the celery/cheese mixture. Garnish with celery leaves and cilantro sprigs.