This refreshing salad goes perfectly with the ham. To make short work of trimming the green beans, use kitchen scissors.
Make Ahead: The green beans, vinaigrette, and pecans can be prepared 1 day ahead.
2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
3/4 cup (3 ounces) pecan halves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse well under cold running water. Spread on paper towels and pat dry. Cool completely. (The green beans can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, wrapped in fresh, dry paper towels, placed in plastic bags, and refrigerated.)
2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the pecans and set aside.
3. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup pecans and the balsamic and wine vinegars in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the oil to make a smooth vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. (The vinaigrette and chopped pecans can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.)
4. Toss the green beans with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Excerpted from Celebrations 101 by Rick Rodgers (Broadway Books, 2004). © 2004 by Rick Rodgers.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new, and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table.