Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, peeled & coarsely chopped 1 lb. green beans, trimmed 5.3 oz. fresh goat cheese 1/2 cup crème fraiche 1 egg yolk Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened Fresh thyme (chopped) for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a medium size, shallow gratin dish.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer the green beans to the prepared gratin dish.
In a large bowl, mix together the goat cheese, creme fraiche, and egg yolk. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cover the green beans with foil and bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Preheat the broiler. Toss the green beans with butter. Spread the goat cheese mixture over the top of the beans and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts. Broil for about 3-4 minutes or until browned all over. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.
To toast hazelnuts, place nuts on a baking sheet. Place them in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with a clean towel. Let cool. When nuts are cool enough to handle, rub them against each other in a kitchen towel to remove the skins.