French Pasta Salad

Recipe Description

In this sophisticated salad, the rich flavors of toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese contrast nicely with the tangy Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Feel free to substitute feta, roquefort or freshly grated parmesan for goat cheese, and asparagus pieces for the green beans.


  • ½ cup hazelnuts; (2 oz.)
  • 1 coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb dried penne or ziti pasta
  • 12 oz green beans; (3 cups), ends trimmed and cut in half
  • ? cup drained chopped jarred-pimentos or 1 roasted red bell pepper|red peppers
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp drained capers; (optional)
  • ½ cup goat cheese; crumbled (3 -oz.)
  • ==
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or - vegetable; oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spread hazelnuts in small baking pan and bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring once, about 15 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly.
  4. Rub briskly in a kitchen towel to remove skins.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  7. Add pasta; stir to prevent sticking.
  8. Cook pasta until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  9. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain well.
  10. Set aside.
  11. Bring large saucepan of water to a boil.
  12. Add green beans and cook until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  13. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain well.
  14. Set aside.
  15. ==
  16. In large shallow serving bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
  17. Add pasta, green beans, toasted hazelnuts and pimientos and toss to combine.
  18. Sprinkle with parsley and capers if desired.
  19. Scatter cheese around edge of salad.
  20. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
This article uses material from the "French Pasta Salad" article on the Recipes wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License