Summer Green Bean Salad Recipe

The perfect summer salad inspired by a memorable meal at Contigo - green beans, cherry tomatoes, roasted hazelnuts, and a bit of frisee tossed with a creamy herb vinegreta.

Summer Green Bean Salad

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.

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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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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. ;)


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!!


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!


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!


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


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


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.

Kamran Siddiqi

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


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.

Elizabeth Mackey

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 ?


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

The Leftoverist

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!


Clean and fresh....

Kitchen Butterfly

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.


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.


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


Lovely ! Green Beans meal are my favorites looks so Delicious ! Thanks for sharing your recipe:) Have a wonderful Day ~~~~


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!


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!!!


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


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!


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!


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


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