I decorated the table with parsley in different clay pots, and gave them to our guests at the end of the evening, along with homemade granola.
It was a wonderful evening, with dear friends and great conversation abounding throughout every course.
GREEN BEANS WITH TOASTED WALNUTS AND DRIED CHERRY VINAIGRETTE
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
4 tablespoons cooking sherry
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 pound haricots verts
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Whisk olive oil, shallots, sherry, cilantro and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Stir in dried cherries.
Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling, salted water until crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and toss with vinaigrette and walnuts.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2010