This cold bean salad is lovely. The Buxers looked a bit funny at the orange peels in their salad but nobody complained, so I guess they love it as much as I do! I made lots, so extra’s for tomorrow.
I did follow this Ottolenghi recipe from top to bottom for the best result.
Ingredients (serves 6)
400g French beans
70g unskinned hazelnuts
20g chives, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or another nut oil, if unavailable)
coarse sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Using a small, sharp knife, trim the stalk ends off the French beans and the mangetout, keeping the two separate. Bring plenty of unsalted water to the boil in a large saucepan – you need lots of space for the beans, as this is crucial for preserving their colour. Blanch the French beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold. Leave to drain and dry. Repeat with the mangetout, but blanch for only 1 minute.
While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them in a clean tea-towel to get rid of most of the skin. Chop the nuts with a large, sharp knife. They should be quite rough; some can even stay whole.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith. Slice each piece of zest into very thin strips (if you have a citrus zester, you could do the whole job with that).
To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.