Salad of Haricort Verts, Tomato Tartare & Chive Oil

 

The French Laundry Cookbook

serves 6
 
 

This salad will wow anyone who likes tomatoes. It’s a show stopper, so the entree that follows must be top notch. It’s absolutely worth all the effort to make this too. It’s time consuming, but not difficult. 

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces haricots verts, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths (small green beans)
Tomato Tartare
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Tomato Confit(recipe follows)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar Cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • chive oil in a squeeze bottle (recipe follows)
  • 1 1/2 cups frisée (tender leaves only)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Tomato Powder (recipe follows)

Directions

Blanch the haricots verts in boiling salted water until they are just cooked through 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the age and size of the beans. Chill the beans in ice water, drain, and dry on paper towels.

For the Tomato Tartare: Combine the tomato confit, shallot, chives, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Refrigerate until shortly before serving.

For the Red Wine Vinegar Cream: Whisk the cream in a bowl set over a larger bowl of ice just until it thickens slightly and you can see the trail of the whisk in the bowl. Using the whisk, fold in the red wine vinegar and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Do not overheat the cream, as it will continue to thicken when it is tossed with the beans.

To Complete: Place a 3-inch ring mold on a serving plate. Squeeze a ring of chive oil around the inside of the mold. Place about 4 teaspoons of the tomato tartare in the center and use the back of a small spoon to spread the mixture so it fills the bottom of the mold. Gently lift off the ring mold and repeat with the remaining five plates.

Toss the beans with just enough of the cream mixture to coat them. Stack about 1/4 cup of the beans in the center of each tomato disk, leaving about a ¾ inch border of tomato. Toss the frisee with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.

For each plate, take about 1/4 cup of the greens, twist it in the palm of your hand to make a compact bundle, and set the bundle on the stack of haricots verts. Sprinkle the top of each with a pinch of tomato powder.

Tomato Confit

  • Tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Thyme sprigs

Cut out the cores from the tomatoes and cut a shallow X in the bottom, of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling salted water for a few seconds to loosen the skin. This will happen very quickly with ripe tomatoes. Immediately remove the tomatoes to an ice-water bath to cool.

Peel the tomatoes and cut them into quarters through the stem. Cut away the inner pulp, seeds, and any remaining ribs to leave a smooth “tomato petal.” Discard the seeds and save the trimmings to use in other recipes or for tomato powder.

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle the foil with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay the tomato petals (inside of the tomato facing down) on the foil. Drizzle more oil over the tops of the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top each piece of tomato with a small sprig of thyme.

Place in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the tomatoes have partially dried but still have some of their juices. Discard the thyme and refrigerate the confit in a covered container, with the oil, until ready to use, or for up to 1 week.

Chive Oil

  • 1 packed cup of chives cut into 1-inch pieces
  • About 1 cup canola oil
  • Place the chives in a strainer and run hot water over them for about 2 mintues to soften and remove the chlorophyll taste. Blend chives in blender with a small amount of oil. Add the rest in a stream. Strain through cheesecloth. Keeps it’s color only a few days. Can be frozen for several weeks.

Tomato Powder

Buy tomato powder at the health food store or buy sun dried tomatoes, not in oil, and whirl them in a spice grinder until a powder. (Scott’s method, which is easier)

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