Monday, August 4, 2014

haricots verts with minty tahini dressing.

This is the best thing I've eaten in a very long time.  

I find this just as hard to believe as you do considering it's summer and most of what I've eaten over the last few weeks involves fruit encased in a flaky buttery crust (i.e. cherry pie and apricot tart and cherry brown butter bars). I never expected string beans (or if feel like being fancy haricots verts) to top my July 2014 Best Eats list (am I the only one who makes monthly best of lists?) but it is (!) and I am here to suggest you put down the butter and get out the tahini.  

Bon Appetit describes this dressing as ranch dressing that spent a couple of weeks traipsing through the Middle East.  I describe it as the best thing to be poured over summer vegetables since miso-peanut dressing.  I don't know how the magic happens, truthfully I don't want to know, but somehow the combination of tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice joins together to make a dressing that is creamier then any other dressing I have ever encountered.  It's thick and rich and when poured over grean beans and bulger it turns the simplest of ingredients into a salad that you just can't stop eating.  So go and eat this now and then I suggest you follow it up with some peach pie because what's better then a meal of summer's greatest hits?  

Haricots Verts with Minty Tahini Dressing
Recipe adapted (barely) from Bon Appetit 

Serves 4 generously or 6 as a side 

¼ cup cracked or uncracked freekeh or bulger, rinsed
Kosher salt
1 pound haricots verts, trimmed
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini
½ teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes

Cook freekeh or bulger in a large saucepan of salted simmering water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook haricots verts in a small pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain, and then pat dry.

Whisk garlic, lemon juice, oil, tahini, mint, maple syrup, and 1 tsp. water in a large bowl; season with salt. Add freekeh or bulger  and haricots verts and toss gently to coat; season with salt.

Serve freekeh/bulger and haricots verts topped with walnuts, cilantro, dill, parsley, and Aleppo pepper.

Do Ahead: Freekeh/bulger and haricots verts can be cooked 2 days ahead. Cover and chill separately.

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