Salad of Haricots Verts and Green Hazelnuts

Salad of Haricots Verts and Green Hazelnuts

Salad of Haricots Verts and Green Hazelnuts

This salad of crisp haricots verts is tossed in a light tomato-spiked cream dressing and scattered with fresh hazelnuts.Farideh Sadeghin

In 1996, chef Jacques Maximin, one of the most celebrated and notorious chefs in France, opened a modest restaurant on the ground floor of his house in Vence, just outside of Nice; it was there that we first had this salad of crisp haricots verts tossed in a light tomato-spiked cream dressing with fresh hazelnuts scattered across the top. If green hazelnuts are hard to find, you can substitute ripe blanched hazelnuts.

Salad of Haricots Verts and Green Hazelnuts
In 1996, chef Jacques Maximin, one of the most celebrated and notorious chefs in France, opened a modest restaurant on the ground floor of his house in Vence, just outside of Nice; it was there that we first had this salad of crisp haricots verts tossed in a light tomato-spiked cream dressing with fresh hazelnuts scattered across the top. If green hazelnuts are hard to find, you can substitute ripe blanched hazelnuts.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 lb. haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
  • 12 cup green hazelnuts, skins removed, or mature blanched hazelnuts
  • 34 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3 cups mixed baby greens (such as bibb, mâche, or romaine)
  • 3 leaves fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add haricots verts or green beans and cook until tender, 5–8 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water, then set aside, wrapped in a dish towel.
  2. If using green hazelnuts, coarsely chop and set aside. If using mature hazelnuts, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add hazelnuts to the dry skillet, and toast, turning, until golden, 5–7 minutes. Remove, coarsely chop, and set aside.
  3. For dressing, place crème fraîche in a medium bowl. Whisk in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, stir gently, then set aside for 10 minutes, allowing tomatoes to flavor and color the dressing.
  4. To assemble, toss greens in a medium mixing bowl with about 2 tbsp. dressing, then evenly divide between 4 plates. Transfer haricots verts, or green beans, to bowl, add about ½ cup dressing, and toss to coat. Arrange haricots verts on top of greens. Spoon remaining dressing over salads taking care that a few diced tomatoes are on top of each one. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and garnish with basil leaves.