Salads, Vegetables
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Haricots Verts with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

 I’m a salad fanatic, and I’m always trying to think of salads that don’t rely on lettuce to do the heavy lifting.  When I saw these french beans in the market, a light bulb went off.  Here’s my take on a frenchy haricots verts salad, perfect for Summer.  Super easy, super fresh.

First you need to trim the beans, flash boil them, then plunge them into an ice bath to quickly stop the cooking process and give the beans a bright green color.  Be careful not to overcook!  You want the beans to be crisp and have a real bite to them.

While you’re waiting for the water to boil to cook the beans, prepare the pine nuts and red onion.  Mince the red onion and toast the pine nuts (watch carefully–don’t burn them!)

Now bring it all together.  Whisk the garlic oil with the lemon juice (see MC’s Romaine Salad for instructions on garlic oil).  Add the french beans and the red onion.  Toss to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with the shaved parmesan and toasted pine nuts.  That’s it!

Haricots Verts Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

1 pound french beans (haricots verts)
1/4 red onion, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons shaved parmesan
2 tablespoons garlic oil (from MC’s Romaine Salad)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt & pepper

Trim beans on the stem end.  Fill a medium size saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Prepare an ice bath (a medium size bowl filled with ice and water.)  Once the water is boiling, add the french beans and cook for three minutes.  You want them still to be crisp, not mushy, and bright green.  Drain and immediately plunge in the ice bath.  Add more ice to keep the water cold.  Once cold throughout, drain.

While waiting for the water to boil, toast the pine nuts by placing them on a baking sheet in a toaster oven on “toast.”  Once they start to brown a bit, remove from the toaster oven and cool.  You can also do this in a saute pan or oven.

Rinse the bowl you used for the ice bath.  In that same bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Whisk to emulsify.  Add the cold french beans and minced red onion.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan on top and serve.

Serves 2-4.

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