I’ve just discovered that green beans are also known as French beans. What is French about them? I couldn’t tell. Anyway, they are very popular in France as side dishes, boiled or steamed, cold in a salad or sautéed in a pan with butter. There are also one of the main component of the refreshing Salade Niçoise.
Today, I am going to share with you my own recipe of the green beans salad, with shallot, artichokes and toasted sesame seed. It is the way I cook it most of the time, but you can easily replace the ingredients and/or the dressing to adapt it to your taste and envy.
I would highly recommend you to make your own vinaigrette. It is much more dietary balanced that the ready-to-use ones, and it takes no time to prepare. The only difficulty is to find the moutarde you will use. I have not found yet the real Dijon mustard, so I am currently using the Grey Poupon and the result is quite satisfying except for the lack of sharp taste.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 10 oz French beens
- 4 small artichoke hearts (I must confess, I used the artichokes in a jar.)
- 1 shallot
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp vegetal oil (I often use extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tbsp vinegar (my preference goes to balsamic vinegar, but it’s up to you)
- Salt and pepper
- Fill a medium pan with water and bring it to a boil. In the meantime, wash your green beans, finely mince shallot and cut your artichoke hearts into quarters. Add the salt in the boiling water and the green beans. Cook for 5 minutes adding the baking soda 1 minute before the end of cook time. It will help the beans to keep their bright green color.
- Put the sesame seeds in a frying pan with a medium heat. Gently stir them and be very careful to not burn them. The experience taught me that it happens sooner than excepted. Turn off the heat when the seeds are lightly brown.
- Remove the beans form heat and pour over cold water until they are completely cooled. You can skip this process, but it also helps to fix the green color on the beans. Drain and put them in a salad bowl. Add the artichokes, shallot and sesame seed.
- Prepare the vinaigrette. I like shaking it in order to obtain a smooth consistency, so I usually prepare the vinaigrette in a small plastic container with a lid. Put all the ingredients together and mix (or shake).
- Pour the vinaigrette over your salad, and it is ready to serve.