Recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel

Quid Nunc String Bean Salad with Creamy Watercress Dressing

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 20 servings
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String Bean Salad:

6 cups fresh string beans

3 red onions

12 ounces arugula


4 hard-boiled eggs, halved, yolks removed and crumbled

Parsley Pesto:

1 bunch parsley

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon salt

2 cloves garlic

Creamy Watercress Dressing:

4 bunches watercress, washed

3 ounces Fromage d'Auvergne (or any bleu cheese)

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 ounces sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Quid Nunc String Bean: Trim, rinse and dry string beans thoroughly. Rinse and dry arugula thoroughly. Slice red onion into thin rings. Saute onions lightly in olive oil until translucent; reserve. In a large saucepan, heat water to a slight boil. Add string beans, and cook for 45 seconds. Strain in a colander and rinse the beans quickly with cold water. Trim, rinse and dry dill. Chop it roughly.
  2. Parsley Pesto: Combine all ingredients in a food processor.Pulse until thoroughly pureed. Add additional olive oil if you want a smoother pesto. Salt to taste.
  3. Creamy Watercress Dressing (Yield 2 cups): Roughly chop 3 bunches of watercress (reserve 1), place it in a medium saucepan and add buttermilk so that it is just covered. Warm the buttermilk over low heat for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool at room temperature for up to 1 hour. This will steep the watercress and allow its flavor to be extracted. In a food processor, puree the buttermilk and watercress mixture, along with the reserved buttermilk and watercress. Add salt and pepper, Fromage d'Auvergne, vinegar, 1 bunch watercress and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Assemble: Toss arugula, dill and red onions in Creamy Watercress Dressing until coated. Place in center of the plate, lay string beans along the edge and set the hard-boiled egg white atop the greens. Fill the center of the egg white with parsley pesto. Garnish with crumbled egg yolks.
  5. Series: Kitchen Conspirators Episode: High Society - Dinner (Ep. 2: Part 6)