French Green Bean Salad in Maple Dressing


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Do you have teenage children? I do, I have two. And though I hate that they are grown already and soon ready to leave me, i do enjoy the fact that they are driving on their own. It has truly been a blessing having my daughter drive herself and her brother to school and run errands for me. And run errands, she does… every day. The other day i sent her to get some French green beans for a cooking class and in spite of finding some, she bought some regular green beans, not quite the same taste, or texture. I cooked them the same way I would have my French green beans, but i was not too too satisfied. Any way, we cooked them, we ate them and there were gone.

Because I had another bag in the fridge, i decided to fix a salad with them. Growing up in France, we often had green beans salad with fresh sliced onions. I never was fond of it, that is why I decided that i could use cooked onions instead. I also added maple syrup to my vinaigrette to sweeten the taste of the vinaigrette = Bingo;-) I loved, loved, loved it. I hope that you will give it a try.

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Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 bag of green beans ( about 16 oz.)
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard ( or other strong mustard)
  • 2 tbsp of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup ( good quality)
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/16 tsp of pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion to make 1/4 cup of caramelized onions.
  1. Drop 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into a large frying pan and heat it up until it is starting to sizzle. Add the chopped onion and saute it for a few minutes stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the onions until they are becoming an amber color. It will take at least 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, stir and set aside to cool.
  3. Rinse the green beans, trim the ends and place them in the round mold. Place the octogonal silpat  on the large round mold. Place the round mold on the microwave and cook it for 4 minutes.
  4. When the beans are cooked, let them cool. Cut them in 1/2 inch.
  5. In  a large bowl, mix all the ingredients to make the dressing ( oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, maple, mustard). Add the cut beans and the caramelized onions and mix well.

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You may add 1/4 cup of toasted pecans, 1/4 cup of gorgonzola cheese crumbled, and 1/4 cup of cranberries ( that you would have previously soaked in water for 2 minutes) for extra flavor and for variation. 

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Well, i have to say that this salad was a winner at my table, even my son and husband went for second. Yeah!!!! And I have enjoyed it so much myself that I have been eating it for dinner and lunch these past 2 days.

I know that i will be serving it for Thanksgiving, easy fast and still yummy;-) I hope that you will give it a try.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms


I love cook books and as you may imagine, I have a few dozens of them on my kitchen shelves. Many of them I  bought myself, but some are gifts I received over the years. La Table de Jacques Pepin is one of them. It is a great book for the recipes ( mostly French), and for its pictures. One of my favorite recipe from this book is the Caramelized  Mushrooms with Shallots recipe. It is an easy recipe that requires  very few ingredients. But it is a great side. I changed the recipe a bit over the years, and here is mine.

Ingredients: 1 lb of fresh mushroom, 1 medium-sized sweet onion, salt and pepper, fresh parsley, olive oil.

In a large frying pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and saute them until they become golden and soft. Then add the sliced mushrooms. Stir well to avoid the mushrooms to burn. Lower the temperature and keep cooking for about 15 minutes while stirring. You may add 1/3 cup of water if the water from the mushrooms have evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Et Voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!