Provençal Green Bean Salad


This reminds me of long, rosé-fuelled lunches at a friend’s house in the south of France. You want to cook the beans to just past the squeak point, but not so they’re soft and dreary. Use the best olive oil you can find. And do top and tail the beans. Chef Simon Hopkinson is very particular about this and once sent back a plateful of these haricots verts because only the tops were trimmed. He wasn’t being fussy, just aesthetically exacting.


  • 1 kg/2 lb 4 oz green beans topped and tailed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar


Cook the beans in well-salted boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water.

Soften the garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over a low heat for about 3–4 minutes, then add to the beans along with the remaining olive oil, the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.