This week it was Annie's week to choose our ingredient. She chose Green Beans. She offered us two recipes to choose from. I chose the Summer Green Bean Salad. Although I couldn't find any local green beans, I was able to purchase a nice large bag of them at Costco.
This was a really good salad. And very filling. It's what I had for dinner last night, along with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The recipe calls for frisee, but I used a variety of leaf lettuces I had growing in my garden. Don't skip the hazelnuts-they really make this dish special.
Summer Green Bean Salad Recipe
3/4 pound green beans, stems pinched off
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
tiny pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
a handful of frisee or little gem hearts
a handful of small cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1/2 cup hazelnuts, smashed and toasted
Start by making the dressing. Whisk together the chives, thyme, shallots, lemon juice, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil with a fork, stirring until everything comes together. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Sometimes my lemon dressings have a puckery edge to them, and when that happens I just whisk in just a touch of honey to counterbalance the sour. Set aside.
In the meantime, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Salt generously and stir in the green beans. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Just until the beans brighten up and soften a touch, I go a bit beyond "al dente" here for this salad. Quickly drain them and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
In a large bowl toss the green beans with the frisee, about 1/2 of the hazelnuts, with a big splash of the dressing. Toss well. Taste, and add more dressing, salt or pepper at this point. Toss again if needed. Add the tomatoes and toss very gently.
You can turn this out onto a platter or plate individually topped with the remaining hazelnuts.
Serves about 4.