I almost titled this post "My Favorite Side Dish." Then I was going to call it "A Super-Easy Side Dish That Makes You Look Like A Pro." Finally I just decided to call it what it is: Haricots Verts with Dijon-Shallot Vinaigrette.

A few disclaimers: I realize that this is more of a summery dish. I also realize that you can't make this dish right now using local beans. But given the fact that the cold, gray days of winter keep hanging around, I'm reaching the end of my tolerance for soups and stews. I love them, but I'm craving salads and bright green vegetables with a bit of a crunch. Come on spring, we're ready for ya!

I love this dish for so many reasons. 1) It reminds me of France - these skinny green beans are a favorite on French menus, and the Dijon-shallot vinaigrette is pretty much their national salad dressing. 2) This dish can be made in about 15 minutes, but looks like it took you way longer. (It can be our little secret!). 3) Trader Joe's sells haricots verts year-round in convenient 1-pound bags. 4) This dish can be served chilled, warm, or at room temperature, making it the perfect side dish to bring to a potluck meal (or eventually a summer picnic). It's also delicious alongside roast lamb, pork, or beef tenderloin. 5) Last, but not least, this dish (unlike so many cream-and-cheese side dishes) is super-healthy!

What are some of your go-to simple side dishes? I'd love to hear from you! Share below in the comments.

(Photos by Signe Birck; platter by ABC Home.)