STRING BEAN SALAD

FAT BLUE LAKE STRING BEANS AND HARICOTS VERTS ARE ALL OVER THE FARMERS MARKET THESE DAYS.  THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO DEAL WITH LEFTOVER STRING BEANS BUT YOU CAN ALSO START FROM SCRATCH WITH A LARGER QUANTITY.   THE DRESSING CONSISTS OF SHALLOTS, WHITE WINE VINEGAR, GRAINY MUSTARD, AND A FEW TABLESPOONS OF HAZELNUT OIL TO ECHO THE FLAVOR OF THE TOASTED HAZELNUTS WHICH ARE SCATTERED ON TOP.  IT'S GOOD TO HAVE A FEW FLAVORED OILS IN YOUR PANTRY.  HAZELNUT, WALNUT, ALMOND, AND SESAME OIL GIVE SALADS A WHOLE OTHER DIMENSION.  USE THEM IN SMALL QUANTITIES IN COMBINATION WITH A LIGHT OLIVE OIL SUCH AS SPANISH OR MOROCCAN.  THIS STRING BEAN SALAD WILL ALSO DO DOUBLE-DUTY AS THE BASE FOR A SALAD NICOISE.  (NOTE:  STORE NUT OILS IN THE FRIDGE.)

 1 lb STRING BEANS
 1 LARGE SHALLOT
 CHAMPAGNE OR WHITE WINE VINEGAR
 BANYULS OR SHERRY WINE VINEGAR
 HAZELNUT OIL
 GRAINY MUSTARD
 ½ cup WHOLE PEELED HAZELNUTS
 FRESH BASIL, TARRAGON, DILL, AND/OR CHIVES

1

BRING A LARGE POT OF SALTED WATER TO A BOIL.

MEANWHILE, TRIM THE STEMS FROM THE STRING BEANS.

FILL YOUR SINK WITH COLD WATER.

BOIL THE BEANS FOR 3 TO 5 MINUTES, TESTING FREQUENTLY. THEY SHOULD BE TENDER BUT STILL CRUNCHY. DRAIN AND DUMP INTO THE SINK WITH THE COLD WATER. ONCE THEY'VE COOLED, DRAIN IN A COLANDER THEN ARRANGE ON A KITCHEN TOWEL. ROLL GENTLY AND RESERVE.

IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SALAD BOWL SCATTER A HEALTHY PINCH OF SEA SALT AND SEVERAL GRINDINGS OF BLACK PEPPER. ADD 2 TBSPS OF CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR AND 1 TBSP OF BANYULS OR SHERRY VINEGAR. PEEL AND FINELY DICE THE SHALLOT. STIR INTO THE BOWL. WHISK TOGETHER WITH 1 TBSP OF GRAINY MUSTARD. WHISK IN 2 TBSPS OF HAZELNUT OIL AND 4 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL.

USING THE TRAY IN A TOASTER OVEN OR A RIMMED BAKING SHEET IN THE OVEN, TOAST THE HAZELNUTS FOR 5-8 MINUTES AT 325º. THEY SHOULD BE LIGHTLY BROWNED. WHEN THE HAZELNUTS HAVE COOLED, CHOP THEM ROUGHLY. (IF YOU USE A KNIFE WITH A CURVED BLADE OR A MEZZALUNA THE NUTS WON'T ROLL ALL OVER THE PLACE.)

JUST BEFORE SERVING TOSS THE BEANS WITH THE DRESSING. ADD CHOPPED HERBS AND SCATTER THE HAZELNUTS ON TOP.

SERVES 4-6 EITHER AS A FIRST COURSE OR A SIDE SALAD.

Ingredients

 1 lb STRING BEANS
 1 LARGE SHALLOT
 CHAMPAGNE OR WHITE WINE VINEGAR
 BANYULS OR SHERRY WINE VINEGAR
 HAZELNUT OIL
 GRAINY MUSTARD
 ½ cup WHOLE PEELED HAZELNUTS
 FRESH BASIL, TARRAGON, DILL, AND/OR CHIVES

Directions

1

BRING A LARGE POT OF SALTED WATER TO A BOIL.

MEANWHILE, TRIM THE STEMS FROM THE STRING BEANS.

FILL YOUR SINK WITH COLD WATER.

BOIL THE BEANS FOR 3 TO 5 MINUTES, TESTING FREQUENTLY. THEY SHOULD BE TENDER BUT STILL CRUNCHY. DRAIN AND DUMP INTO THE SINK WITH THE COLD WATER. ONCE THEY'VE COOLED, DRAIN IN A COLANDER THEN ARRANGE ON A KITCHEN TOWEL. ROLL GENTLY AND RESERVE.

IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SALAD BOWL SCATTER A HEALTHY PINCH OF SEA SALT AND SEVERAL GRINDINGS OF BLACK PEPPER. ADD 2 TBSPS OF CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR AND 1 TBSP OF BANYULS OR SHERRY VINEGAR. PEEL AND FINELY DICE THE SHALLOT. STIR INTO THE BOWL. WHISK TOGETHER WITH 1 TBSP OF GRAINY MUSTARD. WHISK IN 2 TBSPS OF HAZELNUT OIL AND 4 TBSPS OF OLIVE OIL.

USING THE TRAY IN A TOASTER OVEN OR A RIMMED BAKING SHEET IN THE OVEN, TOAST THE HAZELNUTS FOR 5-8 MINUTES AT 325º. THEY SHOULD BE LIGHTLY BROWNED. WHEN THE HAZELNUTS HAVE COOLED, CHOP THEM ROUGHLY. (IF YOU USE A KNIFE WITH A CURVED BLADE OR A MEZZALUNA THE NUTS WON'T ROLL ALL OVER THE PLACE.)

JUST BEFORE SERVING TOSS THE BEANS WITH THE DRESSING. ADD CHOPPED HERBS AND SCATTER THE HAZELNUTS ON TOP.

SERVES 4-6 EITHER AS A FIRST COURSE OR A SIDE SALAD.

STRING BEAN SALAD
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