Will spring ever get here?
When the weather finally does turn and those glorious veggies finally make it to the market, our Spring Bean Salad is here to help us celebrate. Fresh peas and spring beans are blanched (that means boiled and then shocked in ice water) until tender-yet-toothsome, then dressed with bright, fresh horseradish vinaigrette. I love to use preserved lemons in the vinaigrette, but Brooke would get on to me for recommending such a cheffy ingredient. If you don’t have any on hand, fresh lemon zest with a splash of its juice and a pinch of sugar is a great substitute; Meyer lemons are ideal.
*Brooke’s Note:* I had to give my two cents here–The green, crunchy goodness of this salad will blow you away! I had three servings of the Spring Bean Salad in one dinner sitting and I didn’t care that Parker Lee was trying to scoot her high chair away out of embarrassment. I think Jamie needs to bottle the horseradish vinaigrette and start hawking it at Whole Foods.
for the fresh horseradish dressing:
1/4 cup fresh horseradish, finely grated
1 tablespoon preserved lemon rind (or fresh zest, see headnote)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly torn mint
for the salad:
1 cup (about 4 oz) snow peas, cut into diamonds(see photos)
2 cups (about 6 oz) yellow wax beans, trimmed
8 ounces haricot vert, trimmed
1 cup (about 4 oz) sweet green peas
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
For the dressing, combine the horseradish, lemon and vinegar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside for the flavors to combine.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Drop the cut snow peas into the water adn cook until tender, between 1 and 2 minutes. Remove immediately to the ice water to cool. Continue with the remaining vegetables, cooking each type individually. Cook wax beans 3-4 minutes, haricot vert 2-3 minutes and sweet peas, about 3 minutes depending on how starchy they are.
When all the vegetables are cooked, drain completely and dry well. Place the beans in a large serving bowl, toss with the good quality olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved horseradish dressing and fresh mint, toss well to coat the beans and serve slightly chilled or room temperature.
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