In the summer when it's hot, I can't seem to work up much of an appetite so I make a lot of salads. One of my favorites is Haricot Verts with Vinaigrette. Haricot Verts are the very thin, refined kind of French green beans and if you can't find them, regular green beans taste great too. But, I love Haricot Verts and I'm lucky because I can buy them packaged at Trader Joe's. They take only minutes to cook and turn out crisp-tender if you make sure to use an ice bath to cool them down right away. I dressed them with a White Balsamic Vinaigrette because that's a nice light vinegar, but sometimes I use Champagne Vinegar when I have it. This vinaigrette also featured the flavor of Shallots and a bit of Dijon Mustard. I made a double batch to bring to a pot-luck dish for the 4th of July party. I placed the Haricot Verts on a bed of Arugula and decorated the dish with some chopped tomatoes. Martin was delighted because he said I made an H, which is the first letter of his last name. However, I did that by accident because I was just trying to hide the center line of the salad. In any case, it turned out beautifully and was a big hit at the party. If you like green beans, you will love this salad!
Haricot Verts with Shallot Vinaigrette
1 pound Haricot Verts, stem side trimmed, leave pointed end intact
1 small Shallot minced (about 3 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 cups of Baby Arugula
2 large Tomatoes, chopped
Black Pepper to taste
Prepare Vinaigrette by mixing together the White Balsamic, Olive Oil, Sugar, Salt and Mustard. Put aside until ready to use.
Heat a pot of water to boiling and add in Haricot Vert. Prepare a large bowl with ice and water. Cook the Haricot Verts for 4 - 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and plunge immediately into the icy water. Remove when ready to serve
Prepare a salad plate with the Arugula leaves. Place the Haricot Vert in the center and surround by the chopped tomato. Spoon the shallots out of the Vinaigrette on top of the Haricot Vert and then drizzle the Vinaigrette all over the entire plate. Sprinkle with some fresh ground Black Pepper and serve immediately.
Five Element Analysis
Haricot Verts are fast growing green vegetables so you know that they belong to the Wood Element and the White Balsamic Vinegar adds even more. The Arugula, with its' bitter taste and the Tomatoes add the Fire Element, whereas the Shallot and Dijon Mustard contribute the Metal Element. So, this would be a great salad to serve along with a Water main dish, like fish and a sweet dessert. We had it with hamburgers, an Earth food and had blueberry and apple pie for dessert, which is a Water and Earth dessert that created a Five Element balance at our holiday party!