With these warmer days it is so nice to be able to sit out in the garden and eat Al Fresco. Salads are the rule of the day. Quick to prepare and requiring little or no cooking, so that the kitchen doesn't become all heated.
Haricot beans come into season in June. I love their tender crunchiness and mellow flavour. Did you know that haricot beans, or green beans and other beans such as runner or wax, etc. are actually the unripe fruit of any kind of bean? Neither did I! You learn something new every day.
I love this salad in particular. Warm salads are nice and this one has a beautiful flavour. Every mouthful brings a mulitude of wonderful flavours that meld well together. You get the crunch and sweetness of the buttered almonds, the mellow crunch of the tender crisp beans, the saltiness of the chorizo and then the tang of the vinegar soaked shallots.
This is a real warm weather winner!
*French Bean and Chorizo Salad*
This is lovely and light and I could eat just a plate of this and nothing else. I love the buttery crunch of the almonds against the mellow crunch of the crispy tender beans, all bathed in a warm chorizo dressing. Delicious!
2 large shallots, peeled and minced
2 TBS white balsamic vinegar
300g french haricot beans, trimmed
100g of blanched almonds
100g of chorizo sausage (the dry kind) peeled and sliced thinly
a hand ful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the shallots and vinegar into a small bowl and leave to soak while you cook the beans and sausage.
Steam or simmer the beans in some lightly salted water until crispy tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold water. Leave to drain in the colander.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a knob of butter. When the butter begins to sizzle, tip in the almonds. Cook and stir until the almonds are nicely browned. Season with a bit of salt. Place the green beans on a platter and tip the browned almonds over top.
Return the pan to the heat and add the chorizo. Cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and gives off some of it's juices. Scoop out the cooked chorizo with a slotted spoon and tip the chorizo onto the beans as well. Add the shallots and vinegar, and the parsley and toss everything together.