Emerite + Almonds: Summer Salad Combination

Harciots verts fines, the French call them, the thinnest, finest and earliest green beans of summer.  Today I picked the first green haricots from our Connecticut garden, a French variety called emerite.  Although green beans will dominate in a few weeks, right now we relish a plate of salad greens topped with emerite and almonds.

The distinguishing characteristics of this pole bean variety are length and girth, or lack thereof.  These beans are straight, long and slender with a sweet flavor that shines whether you boil or steam them. I normally pick the beans at about 6 inches long.  Because they grow ramrod straight, emerite beans make perfect pickles. (You compulsive types, picture a picket fence of upright beans in your glass canning jars.) Because I always plant too many, a number of the beans develop seeds. I let these pods dry on the vine then collect the shiny black beans for the winter. We store them for baked beans or soup.