Green Bean Salad with Farro, and Crispy Shallots

updated Oct 10, 2023
Green Bean Salad with Farro and Crispy Shallots Recipe

Adorned with toasty nuts, fried shallots, and radicchio, this green bean salad is a beautiful addition to your table, anytime of year.

Serves6

Prep20 minutes

Cook40 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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A photo of green bean salad with fried onion strings, red cabbage and spices in a white bowl.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Why green bean salad? Traditional holiday menus are comforting, nostalgic, and downright delicious, but they are not colorful. Green bean casserole is the obvious choice to brighten up the plate (and I absolutely adore it), but I’ve got a green bean salad that’s a fresher take on the classic casserole. Don’t worry — you won’t have to forego the crispy onions.

This recipe for green bean salad pairs snappy green beans with nutty farro and purple radicchio. Finish the salad with buttery toasted hazelnuts, crispy fried shallots, and a dressing that’s so good you’ll want to eat with a spoon.

The Secret to the Most Amazing Dressing

Thinly slice shallots and fry in olive oil until crisp and brown to scatter over the top of the green bean salad. Don’t discard the oil, which is now infused with the shallots’ savory flavor. Use the shallot oil in a simple, yet flavorful dressing for the salad.

Key Ingredients in Green Bean Salad Dressing

  • Shallot oil: Not only does frying shallots give you an irresistible crunchy topping, but it leaves you with a flavorful infused oil to use as the base for your dressing.
  • Sherry vinegar: Sherry vinegar has a complex flavor with nutty, caramel notes.
  • Lemon juice: Fresh citrus adds brightness.
  • Mustard: Dollops of both whole grain and smooth Dijon mustard add savory sharpness, texture, aids in emulsifying this vinaigrette dressing.
  • Maple syrup: With its golden hue and distinctive toasty sweetness, maple syrup easily dissolves into the dressing balancing any bitter or sharp flavors.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Do I Need to Shock Steamed the Green Beans?

Cooking green beans for salads is usually a 2-part process of blanching and shocking by cooking quickly in boiling water then shocking the vegetables in an ice bath to stop the cooking. In this recipe, you’ll steam the green beans, then skip the shock, and instead spread the green beans out on a sheet pan to cool.

Green Bean Salad with Farro and Crispy Shallots Recipe

Adorned with toasty nuts, fried shallots, and radicchio, this green bean salad is a beautiful addition to your table, anytime of year.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup

    pearled farro

  • 1/2 cup

    hazelnuts

  • 2

    medium shallots

  • 1 pound

    green beans

  • 1/2 medium head

    radicchio

  • 1/3 cup

    olive oil

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    sherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    smooth Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    whole grain Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Fill a pot with a steamer insert (set the steamer aside for now) with water, salt the water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup pearled farro to the boiling water and cook until tender but chewy, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the following: Coarsely chop 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Peel 2 medium shallots and thinly slice. Separate the rings. Trim the stem ends from 1 pound green beans. Cut the green beans in half on the diagonal for the prettiest presentation. Cut 1/2 head radicchio head in half lengthwise. Cut the core out on the diagonal and discard. Cut the remaining radicchio crosswise into 1/4-inch wide ribbons.

  3. Place the hazelnuts in a large skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until toasted and light golden-brown in spots, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl (reserve the skillet).

  4. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a plate with paper towels.

  5. Place 1/3 cup olive oil and the shallots in the reserved skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and, until light golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes. (The shallots will continue to brown after cooking.) Reduce the heat to medium if the shallots brown too quickly.

  6. Immediately pour the shallots and oil into the strainer. Let drain for 30 seconds, then transfer the shallots to the paper towel-lined plate. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Set the oil aside to cool.

  7. Make the dressing: Squeeze the juice from 1/2 medium lemon until you get 1 tablespoon and add the juice to the bowl of shallot oil. Add 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl. Whisk to combine.

  8. When the farro is ready, drain well, then transfer to a baking sheet and spread out into an even layer to cool.

  9. Add about 1 inch of water to the pot used to cook the farro. Fill the steamer basket with the green beans. Fit onto the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Steam until the green beans are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the green beans to the baking sheet with the farro to cool.

  10. Add the radicchio, farro, and green beans to the bowl of nuts. Drizzle with the dressing, season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss to coat. Top with the fried shallots just before serving.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Substitution:

  • Chopped walnuts or almonds can be substituted for the hazelnuts.
  • Store bought fried shallots and olive oil can be substituted for frying the shallots and for the dressing.

Make ahead: The toasted nuts, shallots, and shallot oil can be made 5 days ahead. Store nuts and shallots in separate airtight containers at room temperature, and refrigerate the shallot oil. The farro can be cooked, radicchio chopped, and dressing made ahead and refrigerated in separate containers overnight. Toss together right before serving.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.