Orange and hazelnut go wonderfully well together. The pairing offers a good balance of freshness and earthiness and the flavours are subtle enough to complement green beans without overpowering them.
In this recipe we use the orange slices that we dehydrated some time ago. Several slices are whizzed in a spice grinder until almost powdered. If you don’t have dried orange slices, use pieces of orange zest that have been sliced thinly.
This is based on a recipe from Ottolenghi’s first book, Ottolenghi. We like to play wild and free with his recipes, so you can check the original one here.
Green Bean, Hazelnut and Orange Salad
300g green beans, trimmed, or use a mixture of vegetables (see below)
35g unskinned hazelnuts
4 slices of dried orange, ground to a powder, or thin strips of zest of 1 orange
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tblspn olive oil
1 Tblspn hazelnut oil (or another nut oil, if unavailable)
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Bring plenty of unsalted water to the boil in a large saucepan – you need lots of space for the beans, as this is crucial for preserving their colour. Blanch the beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold. Leave to drain and dry.
While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them in a clean tea-towel to get rid of most of the skin. Chop the nuts with a large, sharp knife. They should be quite rough; some can even stay whole.
Make sure that the orange zest, if using, is sliced into very thin strips (if you have a citrus zester, you could do the whole job with that).
To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add other vegetables if desired, eg 300g of either snow peas, young broad beans, green peas, broccolini, tiny florets of broccoli, etc. Blanch them for 1-2 mins after blanching the beans. Drain and leave to dry. Continue with the recipe, but double the remaining ingredients.