Haricots Verts with White Peach and White Almonds

Haricots Verts with White Peach and White Almonds
Courtesy of Alain Passard and Frances Lincoln Ltd. The Art of Cooking with Vegetables.
Provided by:
total prep
Recipe courtesy of The Art of Cooking with Vegetables by Alain Passard, 2012. Published by Frances Lincoln Ltd.

For me, the peach is nature’s own summer sorbet: its fresh clear juice, with the scent of white flowers, has a sweetness that never cloys; its soft flesh melts in the mouth. Put the peach with haricots verts and you have a fine marriage of textures and flavours. Add almonds, and you have an arousing contrast and a fabulous note of crunch.

Ingredients

  • 600g (1 lb 5 oz) haricots verts, extra fine
  • 1 large white peach, stoned and cut into 12 segments
  • 12 whole blanched almonds, cut in half lengthways if desired
  • 40g (1 oz) lightly salted butter
  • A long dash of virgin olive oil
  • A few purple basil leaves, or green if purple basil is unavailable
  • Fleur de sel or salt of your choice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • DRINK WITH:
  • A Condrieu or a full-bodied white made with the Viognier grape

Directions

  • Plunge the haricots verts into lightly salted boiling water. Return to the boil, then cook, uncovered, to al dente stage-usually 2-3 minutes for extra fine beans. Drain them, immerse in cold water to arrest their cooking and preserve colour, then drain again.
  • In a large saute pan set over low heat, melt the butter and a long dash of olive oil. Add the haricots verts, shaking the pan to coat them, then add the almonds, segments of peach and basil leaves. Leave these ingredients to warm through gently – but do not stir them or they may lose their fragile shape and beauty. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the assembly on 4 warm table plates and eat straight away.