Haricots Verts with Mustard Vinaigrette
Summer is bean season. Haricots verts are simply French green beans (haricot meaning bean and vert meaning green). Although they taste almost the same as American green bean varieties, they are slightly longer and thinner, and a little bit more tender.
The best thing about beans is that they don't require much attention to turn them into something delicious. This is a simple side dish with bold flavours from the shallot and tang of the mustard. The trick lies in cooking the beans - be sure not to overcook, or the beans will turn limp and mushy. A quick 1 minute bath in boiling water followed by a plunge in ice cold water is all it takes!
1 large handful of haricots verts, washed and ends trimmed
1/2 tsp of shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp of grainy mustard
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Prepare an ice bath by placing ice cubes in a large bowl and filling with water.
When the water is boiling, immerse the haricots verts in the water, cooking quickly for around 1 minute.
Drain the beans and place them in the ice bath to halt the cooking process. When chilled, pat the beans dry.
Combine the shallot and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 15 minutes for the flavours to merge. Whisk in the mustard first followed by the olive oil, until a vinaigrette forms.
Arrange beans on top of a bed of lettuce on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.