French Bean Salad with Tarragon and Green Peppercorn

By Jennifer Ann
May 28, 2010
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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 AnnJennifer Ann

Food52 Review: 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&MThe Editors

Serves: 4

  • 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.

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