When haricots verts, those pencil-thin green beans, make their appearance in farmers’ markets, I get about as excited as when I see sour cherries. Something has to happen, and fast. They’re so delicate that they start to go limp after even just a couple of days in the fridge, and then what’s the point? I might as well use regular old green beans.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But what’s special about haricots verts is that very delicate nature, a quality that Clotilde Dusoulier in “The French Market Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter, 2013) refers to as their “youthful bounce.”
Green Bean, Red Rice and Almond Salad
1 cup uncooked red rice (may substitute brown rice)
1¼ cups water
2 pounds haricot verts or thin green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons all-natural unsweetened almond butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (see note)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the red rice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat until the liquid is barely bubbling, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. Depending on whether your salad will be served warm or cold, partially cover the rice to keep it warm; let the rice come to room temperature; or cool, then refrigerate.
Meanwhile, set up a steamer over a separate saucepan of water on medium heat. Steam the green beans, tightly covered, until just cooked through but not limp, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool if desired.
Whisk together the almond butter, oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt in a large salad bowl.
Add the cooked beans, turning them gently in the dressing to coat. Stir in the rice. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add the chopped almonds and parsley, then season with pepper to taste; toss to incorporate.
Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. Serves 6.
Note: Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the skillet to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.
Per serving: 360 calories, 10 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 9 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar.