Recipe: Salade de Haricots Verts, Noix de Pécan & Jambon Cru (Green Bean Salad with Pecans and Dry-Cured Ham)
Serve 4 as a main course, 6 to 8 as a starter
1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed (see note*)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 ounces dry-cured ham, thinly sliced and shredded in 1-inch strips (see note**)
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Steam the beans 10 minutes or until cooked through but still crisp. (If your steamer is small, work in two batches for even cooking.) Dump beans in a large bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the beans' color. Drain thoroughly.
2. In a medium salad bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Season with a little salt — not too much as dry-cured ham is quite salty — and a generous grind of pepper. Add beans and parsley, and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Arrange ham and pecans over the beans. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to a day. (The longer the beans sit in the dressing, the more the color will be affected.) Remove from the fridge half an hour before eating. (You can also plate the salad individually; divide the beans among plates and top with ham and pecans.)
* Frozen green beans can replace the fresh — no need to thaw them — but don't use canned. Steam frozen beans 12 minutes.
** Jambon d'Ardèche is a favorite dry-cured ham, but prosciutto, Parma or Serrano ham will work just as well.
Variations: Use sugar snap peas instead of green beans or walnuts instead of pecans.
From "Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen" by Clotilde Dusoulier
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