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Green Bean Salad with Seared Ham

The potager tradition is strong among the Basques, whose local kitchen gardens often produce copious amounts of haricots verts.

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  • 1 pound haricots verts or young green beans
  • 4 ounces thickly sliced cured ham, such as Bayonne ham or prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon small basil leaves
  • 1 cup firm sheep's-milk cheese shavings, such as P'tit Basque, or Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)


  1. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold running water. Spread the beans on paper towels to dry.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the ham and cook over high heat just until slightly crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer the ham to paper towels to drain.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the chives, shallot and basil and mix well. Add the beans, ham and cheese shavings to the bowl and toss gently. Serve at once.
Contributed By Photo © Reed Davis Published October 1998

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