Haricots verts à la française

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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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2 Responses to Haricots verts à la française

  1. Juan says:

    Very much how I enjoy them, although I do leave them with just a bit of bite. I also add slivered almonds which I briefly saute in the butter as well. Green beans, like broccoli to me seem best when they are cooked simply, with as few ingredients as possible. Thank you for all the great recipes, this is my first (of many) visits.

    • Meg says:

      Thanks, Juan, and welcome to the site. Funnily enough, I’ve never seen green beans served with almonds in France, although I enjoyed them as a kid in the States. The idea may catch on here, though, as food trends spread across the globe. I definitely agree with you that less is more when it comes to veggies!

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