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French Pasta Salad

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.




  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.


  1. In large shallow serving bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Add pasta, green beans, toasted hazelnuts and pimientos and toss to combine.
  3. Sprinkle with parsley and capers if desired.
  4. Scatter cheese around edge of salad.
  5. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.