GINNA PARSONS: French green beans perfect for company

Ginna ParsonsI’ve written before about the hundreds of cookbooks I have stuffed everywhere in my house and on bookshelves here at work. Some of them are well-worn, dog-eared and stained and, sadly, some have never even been opened.

Such was the case with The Culinary Institute of America’s “Gourmet Meals in Minutes,” which was sent to me by the publisher some nine years ago and had been sitting on a shelf in my breakfast room ever since.

My husband, Charlie, pulled the cookbook down about a month ago, dusted it off and began looking for things for us to cook. After he oohed and aahed over a half dozen recipes, we settled on one for French green beans, aka haricot verts.

We first fell in love with these slender green beans when we went to Paris in 2005. I ordered them in a restaurant as a side dish and what came to the table was a bowl filled with enough green beans to feed Coxey’s Army.

You can find these at Kroger, Walmart and Sam’s in the produce department. At Kroger and Walmart, they’re in the 6-ounce steamable bags; at Sam’s they come in a pack of two 1-pound bags. If you can’t find haricot verts, you may substitute regular green beans. Just steam or parboil them as you normally would.

Charlie and I made these one night and ate them with steaks and baked potatoes. A couple of weeks later, we made them again for guests and served them with grilled pork tenderloins and whipped sweet potatoes. They are good, good, good.

And pretty, too.

<b>Haricot Verts with Walnuts
</b>12 to 16 ounces haricot verts
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Cook haricot verts in microwave in steamable bags according to package directions (about 4 minutes) or steam or boil on top of stove. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet. Add shallots and garlic. Sweat until shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooked haricot verts, walnuts, salt and pepper and butter and toss well to coat. Transfer to serving dish.
Serves 4 to 6.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

  • Christopher

    You had to go all the way to France to enjoy French green beans? LOL Shoulda did an overnight to Hamburg while you were there and checked out THEIR delicacy. :)