Green Bean & Potato Salad with Mission Figs & Ibérico Ham

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This is one of my absolute favorite salads for entertaining at home. The crunchy haricot verts, the succulent figs, the fresh thinly sliced radishes and delicious Jamón Ibérico, once dressed with the Sherry Vinaigrette, is a perfection in every bite. The ripen sweet figs offer a wonderful counterpoint to savory Iberian Ham. Choose the figs that are soft and have a beautiful deep purple color of the outer skin. Jamón Ibérico, also called pata negra, “the black hoof” in Spanish, is a specially cured ham; serve it along with the salad on the side drizzled slightly with the olive oil. The special acorn diet and the long complex curing process result into an incredible product. The deep red, marbled with veins of fat thinly sliced pieces of meat have a sweet, nutty flavor and simply melt in your mouth.

The dining experience at Per Se in NYC, the renowned 3-Michelin Star restaurant of Chef Thomas Keller, is out of this world. The quality of the ingredients, the orchestrated symphony of service and of course, the food! But in addition to top of the line restaurants, Thomas Keller is good at more casual dining without sacrificing the quality of his ingredients or attention to details. His book Ad Hoc at Home is a wonderful collection of recipes that will help you elevate your home cooking to a new level.

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Jamón Ibérico is an expensive cured meat. But it is a delicious savory accompaniment for this Green Bean & Potato Salad with Figs.

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Haricot verts, which literally means green beans in French, are thinner and longer than most American varieties. The beans are tender and have a nice complex flavor.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil for blanching the beans. Meanwhile, hold the beans a handful at a time with the ends facing the same direction and, using scissors, cut off the stem ends. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for two to three minutes, until just tender.

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Prepare an ice bath. Drain and cool in the ice bath.

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Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Then drain the beans on the paper towels.

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Cut the potatoes into ¼-inch slices; discard the end slices.

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Sachet of rosemary, 10 peppercorns, smashed garlic clove and bay leave.

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Put the potatoes, sachet, and two teaspoons salt in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover, bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and spread on a tray to cool; discard the sachet.

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Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the walnuts on the pan, and toast in the oven, for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Turn the pan around midway through the 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and let cool.

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Trim the ends from the radishes. Using a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer, slice the radishes, making them just thick enough to keep the outer edges intact. 

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Transfer the slices to the bowl of water to keep them crisp. Drain and dry the slices on paper towels before serving.

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Finely chop the chives. To serve, transfer the beans to a large bowl and add the potatoes, shallots, and walnuts. Whisk the dressing and spoon it over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with about half the chives, and toss well.

Green bean salad.

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Arrange about half the salad on a platter. Place half the figs over the salad. Toss the radishes with the remaining salad, and arrange over the first layer of salad. Add the remaining figs, and sprinkle with the remaining chives and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Green Bean & Potato Salad with Mission Figs & Ibérico Ham

recipe details

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds thin green beans (haricots verts)
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes (12 to 14), about 1 inch in diameter
  • 1 sachet
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • Ground fleur de sel or fine sea salt
  • 3 radishes, about 1 inch in diameter
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 4 Black Mission figs, halved
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 16 very thin slices Iberico ham or prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

About 2 cup Sherry Vinaigrette (about 1 cup for the recipe)

  • ¼ cup sherry wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sachet

  • Rosemary spring
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leave

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for blanching the beans. Prepare an ice bath. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Meanwhile, hold the beans a handful at a time with the ends facing the same direction and, using scissors, cut off the stem ends. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender. Drain and cool in the ice bath, then drain on the paper towels.

  2. Cut the potatoes into ¼-inch slices; discard the end slices. Put the potatoes, sachet, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover, bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and spread on a tray to cool; discard the sachet.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the walnuts on the pan, and toast in the oven, for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Turn the pan around midway through the 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and let cool.

  4. Fill a small bowl with ice water. Trim the ends from the radishes. Using a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer, slice the radishes, making them just thick enough to keep the outer edges intact. Transfer the slices to the bowl of water to keep them crisp. Drain and dry the slices on paper towels before serving.

  5. To serve, transfer the beans to a large bowl and add the potatoes, shallots, and walnuts. Whisk the dressing and spoon it over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with about half the chives, and toss well.

  6. Arrange about half the salad on a platter. Place half the figs over the salad. Toss the radishes with the remaining salad, and arrange over the first layer of salad. Add the remaining figs, and sprinkle with the remaining chives and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

  7. Arrange the ham on a small plate and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with the salad.

  8.  Sherry Vinaigrette: Whisk the two vinegars in a bowl, then whisk in about 1 cup of the olive oil in a steady stream. The vinaigrette should look broken (do not emulsify the dressing). Taste to check the balance of acid and oil, and add more olive oil as needed. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 month.

    Recipe is credit of Chef Thomas Keller from his book Ad Hoc at Home.  

share your thoughts

2 thoughts on “Green Bean & Potato Salad with Mission Figs & Ibérico Ham”

  1. You just cant go wrong with these flavors. The layers of flavors – the sweetness of the fig, the saltiness of the Ibérico Ham and the crunch of the walnut – sounds like the perfect combination. This looks absolutely delish! I will definitely try making this.

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