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green bean salad

This is my attempt to recreate a dish served at Des Alpes, a San Francisco Basque restaurant. The original was surely made with canned or frozen green beans. Amounts are very approximate.

2 lbs. green beans
1/2 red onion
4 eggs, hard-boiled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Dice onion and soak in 1 cup water with a splash of vinegar for 30 minutes, then drain. Trim green beans and snap or cut into 1" lengths, steam five minutes. Mash egg yolks with vinegar and salt until smooth, then beat in olive oil. Put egg whites through egg slicer twice, turning 90 degrees. Toss green beans, onions, and egg whites with egg yolk dressing.

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  1. Never have seen such a thing at a Basque restaraunt, but it sounds so great , I'm doing it tomorrow! Thank you.

    1. I remember those green beans! I thought I remembered them having a mustard kind of kick to them, but it may have only been vinegar.

      I've been making a long-cooked green bean recipe lately that Jane and Michael Stern claim they got from the Obrero Hotel, where you blanch the beans, then cook them on a sheet pan in a hot oven with a ton of chopped garlic, butter and olive oil, salt and pepper, and a good splash of red wine vinegar.

      Thanks Robert.

      1 Reply
      1. re: heidipie

        Yeah, probably some mustard belongs in there too. I think I usually put in a tablespoon of strong Dijon.

      2. Canned? CANNED????

        You can do better.Do everything the same, but FRESH grean beans, microwave (with a teensy bit of water) until just "alo dente", drain and toss with the dressing while they're hot. Chill, or at least allow to marinate a few minutes until cooled.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wayne keyser

          As an insufferable Berkeley foodie, I've made this only with fresh local organic green beans in season. I just mentioned canned for historical reasons.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Exactly, I ate it dozens of times and I am pretty sure canned were in the original, ergo more nostalgic. Here's my take on the recipe -- I too use mustard, and instead of making a mayo I just use a bit of the canned variety to save time, as I suspect may have been the way in the kitchen:

            INGREDIENTS
            2 cans cut green beans, drained
            2 hard boiled eggs, sliced into coins
            1/4 cup thinly sliced white onion
            2 tbsp mayonnaise
            1 tbsp plus 1 tsp white vinegar
            1 tsp regular old yellow mustard
            salt/pepper to taste

            Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and onion together until smooth. Salt to taste.

            Thoroughly drain 2 cans of cut green beans. Add to mayonnaise mixture. Add hard boiled eggs to mixture. Stir lightly so that everything gets a coating of the dressing but does not disintegrate.

            1. re: orezscu

              As I remember it, the egg yolks did disintegrate into the dressing.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Either way, it is a nice recipe that I missed the first time around. I'm glad it came by again.

        2. Here's my favorite green bean salad. From Alice Waters.
          Top & tail green beans, cut in half and blanch in big pot of salted water. Set on kitchen towel to cool.
          Make a shallot vinaigrette. Cut grape or cherry tomatoes in half. Add tomatoes to vinaigrette. Just before serving, toss in green beans. (they'll discolor sitting long in the vinaigrette)
          It's always a hit. And handy to have a side dish that doesn't need attention while you cook the rest of the meal. Especially good with grilled foods.

          1. If you have access to a Trader Joe's, their frozen green beans (haricots verts, imported from France, little bitty miniature beans, about $2.25 for a big 1.5 lb bag) are lovely for a green bean salad.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Querencia

              Thanks Robert. Yesterday I was searching for Des Alpes and found this this thread, that brought back memories of numerous meals there. I can still taste the crisp, skinny fries, the tongue in mushroom sauce, Wednesday or Thursdays, the string bean salad, and their fabulous coffee from Capricorn. I rarely if ever drink coffee, but theirs was always a part of my meal.

              I made your recipe for the string bean salad... had to have it as soon as I read it. For old times sake I actually brought a can of string beans. I remember when I ate it there, I always commented that the string beans were canned, but for loved it anyway.

              I halved your recipe for the two of us, using one can of beans, and I added a little less salt and more wine vinegar. We gobbled it down and I will continue making it. I feel as if I have found an old friend. Next time I just might try it with fresh beans... no promise.

              I resurrected this thread so that others can share this fabulous dish.