I had this strange and bewitching little salad at Jaleo, a Spanish restaurant that’s part of Jose Andres's Washington D.C. empire. There are no earth-shattering techniques or unusual ingredients involved. Just some dried apricots plumped with sherry and Serrano ham cut into confetti-like cubes. After blanching the haricots verts you want to keep them warm, and toss them quickly with the ham and warm apricots. The heat of the beans should warm the fat in the ham so it helps flavor the salad. Simple dishes are all about this kind of detail.
Bean Salad with Apricots and Serrano Ham
Loosely adapted from Jaleo in Bethesda, Md.
6 dried apricots
1/2 cup fino sherry (or whatever sherry you can find; a sweet one will work, too)
1/3 cup small green grapes
1/3 Granny Smith apple, skin on
One 1/8-inch-thick slice Serrano ham or prosciutto (about 1.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon sliced chives
3/4 pound haricots verts or thin green beans, topped but not tailed
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil