Crudités with Chive Crème Fraîche
Crisp, colorful vegetables make a light, refreshing starter that will allow guests to save room for the main course. Blanch the green beans just until crisp-tender, so they retain their bright green color.
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) green beans, stem ends trimmed
- 1 bunch baby rainbow carrots
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) crème fraîche
- 2 Tbs. heavy cream
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh chives
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl two-thirds full with ice water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the beans and then immediately plunge them into the ice water. Let stand for 2 minutes, then drain and pat dry.Set aside.
Trim the carrot tops to about 3/4 inch (2 cm). Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Cut the cucumber crosswise into pieces about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. Cut each piece lengthwise into quarters to create spears. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the crème fraîche and heavy cream and whisk until the mixture is the texture of lightly whipped cream. Finely grate the lemon zest into the bowl, then halve the lemon and squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl (reserve the remaining half for another use). Add the chives to the crème fraîche mixture. Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, divide the crème fraîche mixture among 4 to 6 small glasses or narrow bowls. Divide the vegetables evenly among the glasses, standing them up in the crème fraiche. Alternatively, transfer the crème fraîche mixture to a small bowl and set on a platter with the vegetables alongside for dipping. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen