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.

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 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • 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!

    Eat Boutique
  • 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

    The Gardener's Eden
  • 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!

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

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

    FionaFit@Livewellwomen.com
  • Just grabbed a few handfuls of green beans and a pint of sweet tomatoes at the farmers market last night...perfect timing! TwoBlueLemons.com

    Sarah-Two Blue Lemons
  • This looks terrific! Can't wait to try it.

    Gena
  • 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!

    Sherill
  • 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.

    Anne-Renée
  • 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!

    Emily
  • 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!

    falnfenix
  • 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!

    Beth R&V
  • 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!

    Beth R&V
  • 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...

    Koek!
  • 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.

    Sophie
  • 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!

    chika
  • 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.

    Liz
  • 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

    tricia
  • 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.

    Allison Arevalo
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