Serves 4 to 6
Many varieties of shell beans have distinct tastes and characteristics. When they are combined, as in this salad, with several types of edible podded beans, which also display individual tastes and textures, you will discover a sprightly medley of flavors one doesn't usually associate with beans served with a spoonful or two of freshly chopped tomatoes lightly sauteed in butter and onions, and accompanied with croutons, this dish is a memorable first course.
Trim the tips and remove any strings from the snap beans. Place them on a steamer rack over boiling water, cover, and steam until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife but still brightly colored, about 10 minutes. Immediately remove from the steamer rack and rinse under cold running water to halt the cooking. Drain well and set aside.
- 1 pound assorted young, tender snap beans, such as yellow wax, French haricot vert, tiny Blue Lake, and Burgundy purple pod, in any combination
- 2 pounds assorted fresh shell beans, such as cranberry, black-eyed pea, flageolet, lima, and fava, in any combination
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh winter savory
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Remove the shell beans from their pods, discarding the pods. Place the beans on the steamer rack over boiling water, cover, and steam until tender and all hint of crunchiness is gone. The cooking time may be as little as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes or longer, depending upon the size and maturity of the beans. Remove from the steamer and rinse under cold running water to halt the cooking. Drain well and set aside.
To make the dressing, in a large glass or ceramic bowl, whisk together the garlic, shallots, olive oil, vinegar, savory, parsley, salt, and pepper until well blended. Add the snap beans and the shell beans and toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.
Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature.
143 pages with color photographs
Publication Date: September 7, 1995
Reprinted by permission.
The Vegetarian Table: France
About the book