Green bean salad with mustard crema
I found the most wonderful green bean recipe in Cooking Light last year. Between my garden and my dads garden we end up eating a lot of green beans in the summer. It is always great to find new and easy ways to prepare them. This recipe came from Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca in Boulder, CO. Sometimes the most delicous dishes are the simplest and this one is no exception. People will be begging you for the recipe, I promise. You can find the formal recipe for this dish on-line in the Cooking Light recipe archives. I will give you my abbreviated version.
1.) I blanche 2 lbs of beans for 4 to 5 min until crisp-tender in salted boiling water. Scoop the beans out of the boiling water and plunge them into a ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain them and pat them dry.
2.) Whisk together 1/8 tsp salt, 1 T chopped chives, 3 T creme fraiche, 2 T whole-grain mustard, 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme and 1/4 t freshly ground pepper. Whisk until blended. The original recipe tells you to mix the beans into the dressing. I like to do the opposite and mix about 1/2 the dressing in to the beans to make sure I do not over dress them. I have learned that sometimes recipes have you make way more dressing than you need and the results can be a gloppy dish that no one can eat because all you taste is dressing. After mixing the beans and the dressing together you can separate the beans on to individual salad plates or a beautiful platter and top with 1 1/2 t sliced toasted almonds. ( I use a good handful of almonds because I like them).
* In my recipe in addition to italian flat beans and green beans I used purple beans and a heirloom bean called dragons tongue. I steam these separately because if you blanch them more than a couple minutes they will lose their color completely. Two minutes is about as long as you can go before the beans start to turn green. You can also steam them in a bamboo basket if you like.