Market Bean Salad, Aged White Cheddar Cheese, and Walnut-Bacon Vinaigrette

IngredientsBeans, Walnuts
Menu PartSalad
Cuisine TypeAmerican
Market bean salad

Chef Nicholas Ciccone

Restaurant Associates at Google

Mountain View, Calif.

Chef Nicholas Ciccone of Restaurant Associates combines seven varieties of fresh, seasonal beans in this salad, creating a colorful and wilt-free addition to a picnic spread or barbecue. Toss with the bacon-walnut vinaigrette right before serving or do ahead and keep chilled in a cooler.


Walnut-bacon vinaigrette

4 oz. applewood smoked bacon, diced in ¼-in. pieces

1 oz. shallots, cut into rings

4 oz. walnut halves or pieces

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

3 oz. apple cider vinegar

2 oz. walnut oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Bean salad

3 oz. haricots vert

3 oz. yellow wax beans

3 oz. green romano beans

3 oz. yellow romano beans

3 oz. cranberry beans, fresh or dried and cooked

3 oz. purple string beans, purple

6 oz. fava beans

Coarse sea salt, to taste

Aged white cheddar cheese, shaved

Heirloom cherry tomatoes

Coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

Edible flowers or fresh herbs



  1. Prepare walnut-bacon vinaigrette: Over low to medium heat, slowly render bacon until golden and most of the fat has been cooked out. Do not cook until the bacon is crispy and crunchy; it should remain moist, supple and a bit chewy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
  2. Slowly sweat shallots in bacon drippings until tender. Coarsely chop walnuts and add to shallots, along with reserved bacon. Add black pepper to taste; mix well to combine. Remove pan from heat and stir in cider vinegar. Be sure to scrape any bits of bacon, shallot or walnuts from bottom of pan.
  3. Finish with walnut oil, then taste vinaigrette for acidity, salt and balance of flavor. Adjust as needed with kosher salt, more vinegar or oil. Set aside until needed.
  4. For salad, blanch each type of bean separately in a large pot of boiling salted water and then shock in ice water, leaving purple string beans and fava beans as last two to blanch and shock.
  5. Once beans are completely cooled, drain. Cut haricot vert, yellow wax and purple string beans on a bias into halves; cut romano beans on a bias into thirds. Peel and split fava beans and reserve separately.
  6. In large bowl, combine all beans except favas; season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give vinaigrette a good stir and generously spoon over beans. Add cheese and gently toss to combine, evenly coating beans with dressing. Fold in cherry tomatoes and fava beans; taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. To serve, liberally sprinkle each portion with chopped toasted walnuts and a few additional shavings of cheese. Garnish with edible flowers or herbs.

Photo courtesy of California Walnuts

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