Here’s another recipe from my favorite Ottolenghi cookbook. (I’m also trying a Middle Eastern chicken dish from the same book tomorrow night, which I’ll post if I deem it a success.) I originally made this vegetable dish as a side for our Christmas dinner, but it’s probably best suited for spring and summer meals–just because that’s when the haricots vert and snow peas are in season.
I love that this dish is bright green in color, with a great mix of textures and flavors. The thin slivers of orange zest add a twist, and balance the mellow slightly sweet earthiness of the hazelnuts. Like so many of Ottolenghi’s vegetable dishes, this one can be served warm or at room temperature.
14 oz haricots verts
14 oz snow peas (also called Chinese peas)*
1/2 cup unskinned hazelnuts
3/4 oz fresh chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or other nut oil, such as walnut)
Coarse-ground sea salt
*Substitute sugar snap peas if you prefer
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Using a small, sharp knife, trim the ends off the beans and snow peas, keeping the two separate. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan (fill to 1-2 inches from the top). Blanch the beans for 4 minutes, then drain using a colander and run them under very cold water. Let them drain then pat dry. Blanch the peas for just 1 minute.
While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a rimmed baking sheet or shallow oven-proof dish and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool until you’re able to handle them, then rub them with a clean kitchen towel to get rid of most of the skin. Chop the nuts roughly.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips, taking care to avoid the white pith, which is bitter. Slice each piece of zest into very thin strips using a small paring knife.
To assemble the dish, mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently. Adjust seasoning and serve at room temperature.