Haricots verts à la française

green beans1

Green beans, French style

Green beans tend to be served slightly crunchy these days in many places — but not in France, where they are cooked until they are tender. In this recipe, the beans are first boiled and then tossed in butter melted to a nutty brown, producing a fine flavor. It’s very quick, about 15 minutes if you include the paring time.

For best best results, and if at all possible, use locally grown fresh beans.

1/2 pound (250 g.) fresh green beans
1 tsp. sea salt or table salt
2 tsp. butter
freshly ground black pepper

Snip off the ends of the beans. Place in a colander and rinse under cold water.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt. Add the beans and cook until just tender, about five minutes. Drain well.

In the same pot or a separate skillet, melt the butter. Add the beans and sauté over medium heat, tossing, until the butter starts to brown, about one minute. Season with a little pepper and taste. Add more salt if needed.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve piping hot. Serves 2.

If you like, you can stir a little finely snipped parsley into the beans while you are tossing them in the butter.


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