A recipe can impress with its flavors without requiring endless hours of prep. This simple dish of blanched asparagus and haricots verts (French green beans) is a great example.
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
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon ground coriander
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.
Per serving: 180 calories; 90 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 6 g protein; and 160 mg sodium.