1/2 lb. haricot vert
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon finely minced thyme
A pinch of kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
3-4 ounces crème fraîche
Top and tail the beans, and cut into 2” lengths.
Blanch the beans in a large pot of salted water until just done (3-5 minutes). Drain and dump the beans into ice water to immediately arrest the cooking. When cold, drain and dry, then set aside.
Add the shallot, thyme, and salt and pepper, to the vinegar. Allow to macerate 5-10 minutes for flavors to infuse the vinegar.
In a separate, non-reactive bowl, whip the crème fraiche until it starts to thicken and the whisk begins to leave a trail in the bottom of the bowl. If the crème fraiche is already thick enough, omit this step.
Drizzle in the vinegar and seasoning, gently whisking all the while. When ready to serve, dress the beans with just enough dressing to coat the beans.
Make the salad with soft whole butter lettuce leaves and chopped hazelnuts, or with young arugula and a scattering of diced heirloom tomatoes. Mixed sprouts are a nice topper for the beans as well.
SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Cohen, Chef in Residence, Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets