Sunday, September 14, 2008

haricots verts d'ail

As a child I was never fed fresh green beans. My mother used to buy canned green beans by the case. So I grew up hating green beans. Actually, to this day I hate canned green beans. I was at a dinner party once where they were served, and not wanting to be rude I served myself some. But one bite and I knew I couldn't eat them, and I was so relieved to realize that I could hide them under my baked potato skin. But fresh green beans, cooked al dente can be wonderful. I've been known to eat just that for dinner.

fresh green beans, thinner rather than fat
garlic, very finely minced, or garlic salt, or garlic powder
sel gris or fleur de sel (optional)

Wash the green beans and remove the little ends.
Put them into a pan with a lid, add about a half cup of water and a good pinch of salt.
Put on the stove on medium heat and cover and cook just long enough to have them barely cooked, and definitely al dente.
This will be something probably under 5 minutes. Test by taking a bean out and having a bit.
When done, quickly pour off the hot water to prevent any more cooking, and run cold water over the bean to cool them down just a bit. Pour off the water, but leave the beans in the pan. The goal is to make sure you do not over cook the beans. They want to be green green green.
At this point you can set the beans aside until just ready to serve.
When ready to serve, put the beans back on the stove on medium heat and add a good dollop of butter. How much depends on how many beans you have. Add the garlic, whatever form you have, and cook just until heated. This should be very quick. If not using a salt product, add some nice salt. I like sel gris. Put into a nice serving dish and serve immediately.

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