Green beans are one of the most versatile side dishes, with an endless variety of ways to serve them. One of my all-time favorites is to saute them in olive oil with a little minced garlic and serve with toasty walnuts and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.
To toast walnuts, simply spread 1-2 cups on a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the walnuts turn a shade darker. Set aside. You can save leftover walnuts in a covered container or freeze them for later use.
To reduce balsamic vinegar into a sauce, stir 1 cup of balsamic vinegar over high heat in a small saucepan until vinegar comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue simmering while stirring for about 10 minutes until vinegar is reduced to about 1/3 cup.
To prepare the green beans, trim off the ends of a pound of fresh green beans and set aside. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp. olive oil. Stir 2 tsp. minced garlic in the olive oil, and heat for about 1 minute. Add green beans and saute for 4-5 minutes, leaving them crisp tender.
Serve the green beans on a platter, toss with toasted walnuts, and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.