French Bean Salad with Tarragon and GreenĀ Peppercorn

October  4, 2022
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This salad is best served as a side dish to a main course. It is especially good with grilled fish, steaks, or roasted chicken. - Jennifer Ann —Jennifer Ann

Test Kitchen Notes

Jennifer Ann's green bean salad is refined and elegant enough to please the most devoted Francophile, but it's far from pretentious. The ingredient list is a study in green (beans, zucchini, tarragon, capers, green peppercorns, olive oil), and the fresh, herbal crunchiness of the resulting salad is a lovely expression of the color itself. A dab of mayo tames the assertiveness of some of the supporting ingredients, rendering the dressed vegetables velvety and zippy at the same time. The combination of tarragon and capers make this a great accompaniment for salmon or other fish. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound French green beans, stems removed
  • 1 small green zucchini (about 6-8 oz.), julienned lengthwise then cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns, finely crushed (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped, more to taste
  1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil on the stove, drop in beans for 1-2 minutes until bright green but still very crisp; drain and soak in an ice water bath to stop them from cooking further; when cool enough to handle, cut in half and add to bowl with the zucchini.
  2. For the dressing, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mayonnaise, and a couple pinches of salt; stir in tarragon and peppercorns, reserving a small bit of each for garnish.
  3. Add enough dressing to the beans and zucchini to lightly coat; stir in capers; transfer to serving bowl and top with a few sprigs of tarragon and a light dusting of pepper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TiggyBee
  • melissav
  • Midge
  • Jennifer Ann
    Jennifer Ann
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser

16 Reviews

krisanderic July 15, 2013
I want to add my $.02 - I just put this together for tonight's grilled salmon, and I'm already loving it! I'm having trouble not eating it before dinner's ready (there won't be any leftovers that way . . . )

I did leave out the zucchini since my husband won't touch it, and I increased the beans. Also, I don't usually keep mayo in the house anymore, I wasn't about to make a batch for one tablespoon . . . so I used some strained yogurt. Delicious. Thanks for such a great, seasonal recipe - I'm always looking for uses to use up some green beans AND tarragon!
salena July 27, 2011
Lovely way to use the green beans and zucchini in the garden right now (July). Next day it might have tasted even better--the flavor of the capers shown through the dressing.
Jennifer A. August 16, 2011
Salena, thank you for your nice comments - I am glad you enjoyed the salad :)
Amanda H. August 16, 2011
I just made it again this week -- this time with regular green beans, basil instead of tarragon (which I couldn't find), and lots of lemon in place of the vinegar (again, lack of supplies!). I've made it many times the original way and love it! This was the first time venturing off road.
TiggyBee November 16, 2010
I just love this recipe and have made it a few times now. It definitely should be in the contest this week!! : )
Jennifer A. November 17, 2010
Thanks TiggyBee! I was encouraged by your comment, and did submit to the contest~
melissav November 15, 2010
Jennifer Ann - This is an absolutely delicious recipe. We made it a few weeks ago and will definitely be making it again soon - maybe even for Thanksgiving!
Jennifer A. November 16, 2010
Thank you, Melissa! It is very nice to see your comment - I am happy that you liked the recipe (and are considering for Thanksgiving!)
Midge June 30, 2010
Jennifer Ann-- I made this a few nights ago and loved it. What a great combo. Thanks!
Jennifer A. July 1, 2010
Thanks Midge! I am happy that you tried out the recipe (and glad that enjoyed it). My marjoram is almost big enough to harvest, so I will bet you can guess which recipe is next on my list :)
Jennifer A. June 9, 2010
Thanks everyone for your nice comments! I am really glad you like the recipe (MammaMia - I hope you have a chance to try it soon)
Audrey T. June 7, 2010
I can't believe I just found out about food 52 so late in the game!
Anyway, I loved this salad, even more delicious than I imagined when I read the recipe. A must try to fully appreciate!
Tip: I julienned the zucchini like Jennifer Ann suggested and it made beautiful soft ribbons. super elegant but not fussy.
Franck June 4, 2010
made with lamb (thanks Amanda)- loved it. Next time with fish on the grill...
Amanda H. June 5, 2010
Glad you tried out the lamb-salad combo!
Mammamia June 4, 2010
Definitely will try this one. The ingredients sounds like a delicious, fresh tasting twist to our tried-and-true green beans.
LLoquet June 4, 2010
I made this last night for my husband's chef friend and it was a huge hit. a modern classic! so original without trying too hard. love that it is all green....