This salad was inspired by one I ate a few times while living in Paris. While there, we occasionally grabbed lunch at a trendy little joint called L’Avenue on avenue Montaigne in the city’s chic 8th arrondissement. There was hardly anything better than sitting on the restaurant’s terrace on a spring day, washing down a chilled haricot vert salad with a crisp chablis, all the while watching the beautiful people pass by on their way to spending oodles of ching on Paris’ premiere fashion shopping street.
Their salad changed frequently, sometimes it was served with fresh, sliced champignons (mushrooms) in the mix, sometimes it was dressed up with ribbons of just-seared tuna steak. Blanch, chill and toss the beans with an herbed-shallot vinaigrette and use the veggies as a blank canvas on which to build YOUR ultimate salad. For this one, I kept it veggie-only by sprinkling some chopped oil-cured olives, drained capers, and chunks of oven roasted tomatoes over the dressed beans. It was SO good, and immediately transported me back to those sunny afternoons of fashionista watching in France. Oh La La!
Cheers – Steve
- 8 ounces haricot verts (French green beans)
- 12 oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup roasted (or sun dried) tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons shallot-vinaigrette
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Set up an ice bath in a large bowl and keep handy. Toss in the green beans and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Immediately remove the beans from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath to shock them and lock in their vibrant green color. Let them sit in the bath until entirely chilled.
- Remove beans from the ice bath and drain briefly in a colander. Toss the beans with vinaigrette in a large bowl to coat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto plates and top with the chopped tomatoes, olives and capers.