PEPPER AND GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH FRIED ALMONDS
Add rolled or folded thin slices of prosciutto and hard-cooked egg quarters to this salad if desired.
3/4 pound thin green beans, stem ends trimmed
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons sherry or red-wine vinegar, or more as needed
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
3/4 pound sweet red or orange peppers, halved, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh marjoram
Fresh ground pepper
4 large handfuls frisee (pale center leaves) washed and dried, or favorite salad greens
Bring a pot of water to boil and season generously with salt.
Have a baking sheet lined with parchment ready. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the beans, spread them on the baking sheet and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and vinegar; let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil. Using a green bean, taste the vinaigrette and adjust with more vinegar or salt if necessary. Set aside.
Put the red onion in a small bowl and cover with ice water to crisp and remove some of its hotness. Set aside.
Warm a small saute pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and the slivered almonds. Fry the almonds, tossing or stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
Drain the onion well.
Put the green beans, onion, peppers and herbs in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Gently but thoroughly toss the salad with just enough vinaigrette (you might not use it all) to lightly coat the vegetables. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if necessary. Add the frisee and almonds to the bowl, seasoning lightly with salt, and toss again, adding just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Taste once more for salt and acid. Transfer the salad to a platter or individual serving plates. Serves 4 to 6 main dish salads.
Per serving: 397 calories (73 percent from fat), 35 grams fat (4 grams sat. fat), 19 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, 315 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 grams fiber.