Summer Green Bean Salad

Summer Green Bean Salad Recipe


I had the quintessential summer salad the other night - green beans, cherry tomatoes, roasted hazelnuts, and a bit of frisee were tossed with a creamy herb vinegreta. Wayne and I were sitting at the cava bar at Contigo, and this salad kicked off our meal there. It was the kind of thing that made me sigh happily and settle into an evening of inspiring small plates, good wine, and easy-going conversation.

Green Bean Salad Recipe

Contigo is the new-ish kid on the block in nearby Noe Valley, and focuses on Spanish-style small plates made with impeccable local produce. I don't really do restaurant reviews, but I have to say, I really appreciate meals like this. I love a tightly-edited menu with a point of view, and I love seeing what chefs do with local and seasonal produce. Meals like the one I had the other night open my eyes to combining ingredients in a way that might not have occurred to me, preparations I might not have thought of. I love leaving a restaurant feeling invigorated to try out new things in my own kitchen, and that is how I felt as we caught the J-Church trolley home from Noe Valley that night.

Some of you might be curious about all plates we ordered, so I'll list them off:

- Dirty Girl Green Bean Salad - Cherry Tomatoes, Creamy Herb Vinagreta, Hazelnuts
- Patatas Bravas - Fried Potatoes with Allioli, Salsa Brava
- Wild Lobster Mushrooms and Catalan Farm Corn - Garlic, Butter, Thyme
- Berenjenas Fritas - Fried Rosa Bianca Eggplant with Tomato Salmorejo
- Coca (Flatbread) with Gypy and Red Lipstick Peppers, Sweet Onions, Manchego, Herbs, and Marin Sun Farm Egg

I fell for the green bean salad quite hard. And I admit, I've been making my approximation of it all week. Before tasting the version at Contigo, I can't remember the last time I combined tomatoes and hazelnuts - but it really works. This version calls for standard green beans, but if my memory serves me right, the version at Contigo also used Romano beans, and perhaps some hericot vert. Play around with whatever beans looks best at your market.

- More Green Bean Recipes -
- More Tomato Recipes -
- More Salad Recipes -

Summer Green Bean Salad Recipe

I call for all green beans here, but if memory serves me correctly the Contigo version had a wonderful mix of Romano, haricot vert, and standard green beans. I think you'd want to cook each type of bean separately to make sure the thinner ones don't over cook. I'd also encourage you to dress the salad a bit more heavily than what you see in the photo - I always worry about over-dressing things before taking a photo, and now that I'm looking at the shot, the beans up there are looking a tab bit naked.

3/4 pound green beans, stems pinched off

1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
tiny pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

a handful of frisee or little gem hearts

a handful of small cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1/2 cup hazelnuts, smashed and toasted

Start by making the dressing. Whisk together the chives, thyme, shallots, lemon juice, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil with a fork, stirring until everything comes together. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Sometimes my lemon dressings have a puckery edge to them, and when that happens I just whisk in just a touch of honey to counterbalance the sour. Set aside.

In the meantime, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Salt generously and stir in the green beans. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Just until the beans brighten up and soften a touch, I go a bit beyond "al dente" here for this salad. Quickly drain them and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

In a large bowl toss the green beans with the frisee, about 1/2 of the hazelnuts, with a big splash of the dressing. Toss well. Taste, and add more dressing, salt or pepper at this point. Toss again if needed. Add the tomatoes and toss very gently.

You can turn this out onto a platter or plate individually topped with the remaining hazelnuts.

Serves about 4.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 10 min

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Comments


I cannot wait to go to Contigo, and now I see I've waited far too long. Local produce, simple fresh dishes. Very similar to many of the great restaurants in the East Bay - but that's no excuse for me to not cross the bridge. Thanks for giving me the nudge I needed.

August 17, 2009
 

tricia

Hi, i lo-ho-ho-ve your blog! Everything about it is perfect! The presentation is beautiful and enticing, and the recipes are excellent: in the first week i made three dishes from your repertoire, and I sent a link to about 15 friends, and many of them wrote back to tell me how much they liked the recipes, and how your blog is now on the Favorites bar (on mine too).

Thank you very much, and keep up the excellent work!

best regards,

Tricia Evulet

August 17, 2009
 

I picked up some long beans at a market over the weekend with no plans in mind for them -- now I think they'll have a date with this recipe! Good stuff. These beans sound amazing accompanied with the Coca listed above.

August 17, 2009
 

Hello Heidi,


mmm I keep hearing/spotting the name 'Contigo' in the past week here and there, and now you make me REALLY want to go and try it myself! if only SF was a short (or long, even!) train ride away from me... (btw your recent SF post was amazing - I tried and posted a comment but it seems to have gotten lost somewhere. not that I wrote something really important, though...)

for the time being I'll (happily) settle for this gorgeous salad... never really knew there were so many different kinds of green beans around!

August 17, 2009
 

This sounds delicious Heidi. Green beans and hazelnuts are just made for each other - can't wait to see what cherry tomatoes add to the mix.

I've grown "purple teepee" french beans in the garden this summer which are a stunning inky purple raw. I was just thinking how good they would look against the green frisee and golden tomatoes but then I remembered that they go a rather grubby shade of green on cooking.

August 17, 2009
 

I am addicted to your site – what I love most about preparing meals is the challenge of creating something delicious, pretty AND healthy. You get it so right every time...

August 18, 2009
 

I'll be sure to check out Contigo soon! Always looking for new spots to try.

Thanks Heidi!

August 18, 2009
 

Beautiful blog. I was at my local grocery store debating a purchase of coconut oil because of you - but found myself confused with all the options. Refined? Unrefined? Expeller or cold pressed?

PS - I want another pet/baby/car just so I can name her Berenjena. What a lovely word.

HS: Hi Beth, you want an all-natural, unrefined, coconut oil - one that actually smells like coconut. I buy the Nutiva brand often. But read the labels carefully if you can't find that brand - I bought a Spectrum jar once - it was labeled unrefined, natural but had been stripped of scent - which is not what I was after. I hate to say it, but it can be a bit confusing, even for me!

August 18, 2009
 

falnfenix

those are cherry tomatoes? i thought they were a currant-style tomato (i'm growing redcurrants in my garden, currently).

regardless, i'm sure they're tasty!

August 18, 2009
 

Wow, that salad looks great and all the main ingredients are in my garden right now. I think I'll have to make it for dinner. Thanks Heidi!

August 18, 2009
 

Anne-Renée

hmm - looks scrumptious, but no dairy for me... I wonder if Oatly "heavy cream" would work in the dressing?!?

HS: Hi Anne-Renee, you could certainly try that - or just do a non-creamy version.

August 18, 2009
 

Sherill

Wow! You continue to bring us great dishes. Everytime I open one of your blogs it feels like a speicial present and a bit of advanced meal planning done for me! We here in Austin suffer through long hot summers and this salad will become a staple! Thanks!

August 18, 2009
 

This looks terrific! Can't wait to try it.

August 18, 2009
 

Just grabbed a few handfuls of green beans and a pint of sweet tomatoes at the farmers market last night...perfect timing!

TwoBlueLemons.com

August 18, 2009
 

FionaFit@Livewellwomen.com

This recipe sounds delicious! The homemade dressing is a great touch!

August 18, 2009
 

I can't get over how wonderful this salad looks. I love that it wraps up summer perfectly.

August 18, 2009
 

Wonderful salad! I have been eating farmers' market tomatoes and strings beans, wondering how I could combine them. And the restaurant menu is delightful - lots of ideas there as well. Thanks!

August 18, 2009
 

Oh Yes! Thank you! My harvests of haricot vert and cherry tomatoes are very good this year. I love how colorful this salad looks, and how refreshing. I can not wait to try it later this afternoon.
-Michaela

August 18, 2009
 

I really, really love this salad. I've got everything in my kitchen too - so it's replacing what I had planned for dinner tonight. The string beans are my own and cannot wait to serve them with these sweet cherry tomatoes from the farm stand. Thanks!

August 18, 2009
 

Looks delicious. That sounds like just the restaurant I would like to visit.

August 18, 2009
 

Chris W

They look like Sungold tomatoes. Exquisite but hard to get even at the farmer's market here in NC because they are bursting on the vine too fast here this year.

What are "little gem hearts"?

August 18, 2009
 

flynn

mmm. i'm sold. i'll be buying hazelnuts on my way home.
i love making salads where i blanch the handful of random small vegetables and add them to greens. it's such a fun way to add interest and experiment.
kudos for all the inspiration!

August 18, 2009
 

Dear Heidi,

As a meat and fish-loving gal, I'm constantly impressed by how you've created what seems like an entire universe of tasty, tasty dishes and menus that don't need meat. I'm inspired to give meat up--who needs it with your recipes and your ability to share good finds. Lori

HS: Sheesh Lori, I'll cook veggies with you anytime. Maybe we can try out some Tempeh on Lisa next cabin weekend - see how that goes ;)

August 18, 2009
 

this sounds divine!

August 18, 2009
 

Beautiful Salad! I like to use raw green beans, cut on the slant, with cherry tomatoes, and a drained can of black olives, a bit of garlic or minced onion and olive oil and lime juice. Basil to finish it off. I like your garnishing. Always nice.

August 18, 2009
 

ann

whew! sounds deeelicious! the frisee as a bitter accent seems just right. thanks!!

August 18, 2009
 

Beverly Jane Reynolds

Hello Heidi,
I share all your special recipies with my DD and this one popped up just as she had picked fresh green beans, tiny gold tomatoes and she always has her own home grown mixed green growing in pots. Thanks so much for making such lovely food for us.
Bev

August 18, 2009
 

yum! this sounds so good. green beans have endless possibilities.

August 18, 2009
 

I have to admit I don't know what frisee or little gem hearts are. In the picture, I am reminded of seaweed salad in terms of the finely leafed or shredded greens hither and thither. Are these the frisee or little gem hearts, and are they really the leave tops of something and not shreds? I can't tell for sure from the picture.

August 18, 2009
 

I would not have thought to put hazelnuts in a green bean salad, it sounds so delicious though! I love nuts of all kinds, and this recipe is just wonderful!

August 18, 2009
 

Sue Hansen

Love your site, everything about it. This salad looks particularly delicious. Can't wait to try it.
Thanks!

August 18, 2009
 

Green beans are my favorite veggie!

August 18, 2009
 

I see Heidi hasn't commented yet, but for those with questions about frisee and little gem hearts, here are one gardener's answers: Frisee is the curly version of endive, a somewhat "bitter" green often eaten raw in salads. Little Gem is a variety of yummy lettuce, sweet and buttery. Certainly not something available everywhere, as lettuce is out of season in many parts of the country right now. IMO, Little Gem hearts just means using the inside/heart of the best, sweetest lettuce you can find. They are totally different greens, so I'm thinking that any yummy green would probably work, in the right proportions.

Now, I need help: how do you smash and toast hazelnuts. Toast and then smash? Or Smash and then toast?

HS: Thanks for jumping in Christine. You and I are on the same page re: any yummy green. I usually smash then toast. When I've done it the other way, the nuts get really hot and then mush when you smash them. But really, either way is fine.

So looking forward to making this tonight. Thanks! Kristine

August 18, 2009
 

well, now I know what I'll be eating tomorrow night! Where would I be without you? I think I make something from your website just about every day...

August 18, 2009
 

I was just wondering how to use the freakish amounts of green beans my plants have produced this season. (Three bags in the fridge!) This recipe will really help — hooray!

August 18, 2009
 

Ah, Heidi, you make a mean salad dressing! Love it. And I love frisee!

August 18, 2009
 

I'll just bet you made a splendid duplication. I love to eat in same type of restaurants for kitchen inspiration. Green beans and tomatoes belong together, but the hazlenuts? I like it!

August 18, 2009
 

so glad for the tapas bar recommendation. We have found two i've enjoyed in the last couple months (ramblas and laiola) but looking forward to trying this one too. But first, perhaps, that salad at home.

August 18, 2009
 

Mmm, this green bean salad looks so appealing and the yellow cherry tomatoes pop beautifully against the greens.

August 19, 2009
 

In an ever changing world you are a constant!

Your blog entries come and provide an oasis of order and beauty to us. Every time I get your message I find that it helps to make sense of this world.

Yes, keep on doing what you do. You feed our souls and hearts.

James

August 19, 2009
 

The hazelnut in the salad is an interesting idea. It really looks very very delicious.

August 19, 2009
 

Green beans are such a great summer memory. Growing in the garden when I was young, picking them right off the vines. I love the idea of hazelnuts with green beans, fresh herbs, yum!

August 19, 2009
 

Heidi,
you never cease to amaze me. you have totally inspired the way I cook, approach food and think about creating a dish (especially with al your wonderful salads). thank you so much.

August 19, 2009
 

That is such a beautiful salad. I can't get enough of most of these ingredients - and yet I hadn't though to combine them in this particular combo. Thanks!

August 19, 2009
 

I've been craving some green beans lately--for some reason or another, I've yet to have this summer. This recipe looks pretty much perfect, though, I bet the crunchy hazelnuts make the dish out of this world good.

August 19, 2009
 

sante salvoni

thanls heidi,
looks fabulous as usual

August 19, 2009
 

Are those sungold tomatoes in your photo? If they are, you're no doubt ruined for life, just like me. The best yellow cherries around! Thanks for the recipe inspiration -- I've got some yard-long beans that I need to use up, and the sungolds are still coming in by the bucket each day. Perfect!

August 19, 2009
 

Gorgeous! My green bean crop has been bumper this year. I grew haricots verts and regular green beans and got tons!

I probably have enough left to pick to be able to make your salad.

I've also been using these simple ideas to make the most of my green beans, too:

http://danamccauley.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/green-bean-dress-ups/

August 19, 2009
 

ooh, hazelnuts sound great on this

August 19, 2009
 

himanshu

thanks for giving us the wide variety of dishes and the wide knowledge of new dishes.

August 19, 2009
 

This salad will serve as wonderful inspiration for my shopping bag challenge! We've gotten a bunch of requests for recipes containing green beans and tomatoes. I wouldn't have though to necessarily combine cherry tomatoes with string beans, but boy do the yellow ones make for a beautiful color combination.

We'd love to hear what you are cooking with this week: join the shopping back challenge!

http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2009/08/whats-in-bag-we-have-banner.html

August 19, 2009
 

Duff

Saw this recipe just before heading out to Bi-Rite yesterday. Everything was available except the hazelnuts (so I substituted Marcona almonds)....a perfect salad. Thanks so much. Actually just enjoyed some more of it for lunch!

August 19, 2009
 

I'm loving green beans more each day. Especially when it goes with something stronger...it gives a very good balance

August 19, 2009
 

Meredith

Oh my goodness, I made this tonight and it's DELICIOUS! Well...I started with your recipe and ad libbed based on what was available at my local market: chopped endive ends instead of frisee, macadamia nuts crushed and toasted instead of hazelnut (the smell of hazelnut doesn't agree with me), minced scallions/green onions instead of chives. I also added some browned mini tofu chunks. Mmmm. I've always wanted to try your recipes and today it all finally came together. Can't wait to try more! :) Thank you!!!

August 19, 2009
 

I made this last night, it was heavenly. I don't usually like hazelnuts, but it made me a believer. Everything I have made of yours has been wonderful. Thanks!

August 19, 2009
 

Lovely ! Green Beans meal are my favorites looks so Delicious !


Thanks for sharing your recipe:)


Have a wonderful Day ~~~~

August 20, 2009
 

mmm...those little wee tomatoes look like jewels!!

August 20, 2009
 

kk

I made the green bean salad last night for a dinner party. Everyone loved it. I made a couple of adjustments to the dressing - adding a little bit of whole grain mustard and little more lemon juice than the recipe called. I will be making this as often as I can find beans at the farmer's market.

August 20, 2009
 

Jill

I made this salad for my husband and he literally licked the plate! I think the farmer's market ingredients are the key. I used dry-farmed early girl tomatoes in place of the cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil in place of the other herbs. I never would have thought of the half and half in the dressing but it really helps the dressing adhere to the salad. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration.

August 20, 2009
 

Clean and fresh....

August 20, 2009
 

Lisa

We made this tonight and it was LOVELY. I toast then coarsely chop my filberts (hazelnuts) - and you could use so many different yummy crunchies here - pine nuts, pecans, toasted slivered almonds, even croutons of day old crusty bread... for those watching their saturated fat, use evaporated skim milk instead of the cream - just as yummy!

August 20, 2009
 

I am dying over all the small plates--can't you teleport all of that over to me right now?

August 20, 2009
 

Lo

Hi ! I'm french and I've always thought "green bean" was the english word for "haricot vert" in french. But at the beginning of your recipe, you seem to say both exist and are different...Could you explain more please ?

August 21, 2009
 

Hello Heidi, I just stumbled onto your blog,and had loads of fun reading some of your posts. I especially loved what you wrote in your "About" section, on how you started this blog. I too have close to 100 or so cookbooks, and continue to buy more and more. I do use them, but I think I do tend to go back to one or two recipes per book. That needs to stop, since I have such an amazing collection. You have inspired me to break this habit! I live in the S.F. Bay area, so I really enjoyed reading your post on San Francisco.

August 21, 2009
 

This is such a beautiful salad. I just discovered your site and have really enjoyed reading your entries. Great work. -Becky

August 22, 2009
 

You've totally inspired me to eat more salads. I am not much of a salad person for the simple fact is that it doesn't fill me up much, but if it's like this, It just might because of those lovely green beans.

We're having company over tomorrow, so I'll definitely make this for them along with some other goodies.

August 22, 2009
 

Rosemary

Heidi,

Thanks so much for the green bean recipe. We had a party here last evening and the salad was a hit. I noticed that the dressing mellowed as it sat for a while and I was pleased because I resist using sweeteners in most things.

One of my vegetarian friends took the leftovers home to his wife and I'm missing that dish today.

I'm off to NH tomorrow and will visit my local farmstand for more green beans and will make it again to take along. Probably won't do the dressing until I arrive. But any excuse to have it again.

Thanks again

August 22, 2009
 

sarah

This was so delicious! the hazelnuts really make it even better.

August 22, 2009
 

Unfortunately no Contigo in my area. :-(
I like their concept and their prices look pretty reasonable too. Maybe you could recreate the dirty girl strawberries form their dessert menu as well. It sounds divine!

August 23, 2009
 

kristin

Made this tonight and it was OUTSTANDING! Had to use spring mix for the greens, and substituted toasted pine nuts for the hazelnuts. Refreshing and different. THANKS!

August 23, 2009
 

Laura

I loved this!! Went to the farmers market and got all the ingredients there..loving that!! I added just a touch of wild rice and topped with 2 poached eggs. The frisee handled the eggs really well. We had it tonight as a light early dinner. Yum.

Thanks again!!

August 23, 2009
 

Josep

Hi there,
Congrats. You wrote "Allioli" which is the correct name of that delicious sauce made of garlic (All=Ajo) and oil (Oli=Aceite). I've written the ingredients in Valencià-Català and spanish. Even though this sauce comes from this area of Spain most of the spaniards that aren't from there (and don't speak this language) use to misspell and mispronounce the name of the sauce by saying something like "Alioli" just because they're too lazy to try to pronounce it right. It's really annoying.
Kudos then for taking the time to learn strange names and recipes correctly.
Love your blog. ;)

August 24, 2009