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Lucy's Green Bean Salad With Preserved Lemon, Hazelnuts And Crème Fraîche

Food

Green beans are one of those veggies I buy every single week… I love that they’re so quick and easy to cook. But, I’m always looking for ways to dress them up and make them, well, a little more exciting.

This easy salad brings together a few of my favourite things – crunchy green beans, leafy green herbs and preserved lemon, with roasted hazelnuts for the all important crunch! The creme fraiche on the side is a decadent addition that elevates this easy weeknight dish to instant dinner party status!

22nd January, 2019

Potato salad with all the trimmings. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 22nd January 2019

I have a love hate relationship with creamy salad dressings. I often of find them a bit too rich (and often too sweet?), and as a visual person, I prefer to see the vibrant colours of the veggies, instead of smothering them in a thick sauce. #OCD

SO this delicious crunchy bean and hazelnut salad is dressed in a light vinaigrette, but served with a generous dollop of lemon-infused creme fraiche on the side. Creme fraiche is a delicious alternative to feta or mozzarella. It’s a tangy cultured cream, and tastes a little like a cross between sour cream and cream cheese. It can be quite rich, so serving on the side allows for individual portion control. And it looks better!

A note about the broad beans – I am not usually a fan of frozen vegetables, with the exception of broad beans!  They are one of the few veg that don’t seem to lose too much flavour or texture when frozen. A bag of broadbeans in the freezer has often gotten me out of a last minute meal crisis!

Salad Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 large handfuls of green beans (we used a mix of green and yellow beans)
  • 1 x 500g packet frozen broad beans
  • 1 handful chopped leafy green herbs (we used a mix of parsley and dill)
  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • Pecorino, for shaving

For The Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 preserved lemon wedge, flesh removed, rinsed and finely sliced.
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

For The Crème fraîche

  • 4 Tablespoons Crème fraîche
  • 1 preserved lemon wedge, flesh removed, rinsed and finely sliced.

Method

Make your dressing by shaking all dressing ingredients in a jar. Set aside.

Prepare creme fraiche by mixing the finely sliced preserved lemon through thoroughly. Set aside.

Now it’s time to prep your veggies.

Boil a pot of water. Once boiling, add your frozen broad beans and cook for around 5 minutes – take one out to test. Drain immediately and rinse under running cold water to stop them cooking. Set aside to cool.

Whilst cooling, prepare your long beans, and rinse and roughly chop your herbs.

By now hopefully your broad beans are somewhat cooled. De-shell them carefully. Rip the skin open with your fingernail, and squeeze out the deep green bean inside. Shell all but the tiniest beans (which can go in whole), transferring to a large mixing bowl as you go.

Now blanch your green beans. Bring a small pot of water to the boil, and cook the beans for no longer than 2 minutes – they should still be crunchy and not too bendy. Keep your eye on them, test one as soon as they have turned bright green. One cooked, drain immediately.

In a mixing bowl, add the shelled broadbeans, blanched green beans, chopped herbs, and the roughly chopped hazelnuts. Thoroughly coat with the vinaigrette, and serve whilst warm if you can! Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche on the side, and shave pecorino over the top before serving.

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