Thursday, April 17, 2014

Haricots Verts and Pea Pods with Hazelnut and Orange

We had dinner at Foodie’s house last Wednesday.  She made a lovely halibut dish with tomatoes and artichokes because she was craving to make the delicious side dish you see right there.

In other posts, you have read about our many adventures with the Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi and this recipe — Haricots Verts and Pea Pods with Hazelnuts and Orange — is from the predecessor cookbook, Ottolenghi.  Ottolenghi is equally popular and beautifully illustrated and, like Jerusalem, the authors offer practical guidance with each recipe.  For instance, in the prelude to this recipe, they explain that the hazelnut and orange balance each other beautifully, offering the right amount of earthiness and freshness but the flavors are subtle enough to not overpower the vegetables.

We agree.  This dish is amazing.

You can find hazelnut oil in specialty or whole food stores; I found some at Giant.  I was pleasantly surprised, but relieved  because I plan to make these emerald beauties for Easter.

I will have a house full!

Don't you just love a full house on a holiday?!

Snow or sugar-snap peas are also known as mange tout, which is French for “eat everything” since you eat the pod as well as the pea.  To me, those are not very appetizing words so I will refer to them a pea pods.  

Haricots Verts and Pea Pods with Hazelnut and Orange

1 lb Haricots Verts or french beans
3/4 lb snow pea pods
1/4 cup un-skinned hazelnuts
1 orange, washed and zested into strips
4 teaspoons chives
1 garlic clove crushed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Hazelnut oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a small, sharp knife, trim the stalk ends off the beans and the snow peas, keeping the two separate. Bring plenty of unsalted water to a boil in a large pot.  You need lots of space for the beans, as this is critical to preserve their color.  Blanch the beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold.  Leave to drain and dry.  Repeat with the snow peas, but blanch only for 1 minute.

While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them with a clean kitchen towel to get rid of most of the skin.  Chop the nuts with a large, sharp knife.  They should be quite rough; some can even stay whole.  

I love the knife the Pioneer Woman uses, so I just had to have one…it is amazing.  And quite sharp!

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith.  Slice each piece of zest into very thin strips.  You could also use a citrus zester.

To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve at room temperature.

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