I discovered French green beans, otherwise known as haricots verts, many years ago and they are in the regular rotation of vegetables on our table. On a school night, I would steam them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. They’re simple and delicious prepared that way, but for special occasions, I’m always thinking of interesting ways to present everyday vegetables. This preparation requires a little more effort but the results make a real visual impact.
1 lb haricot verts, stem end trimmed
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp salt
1. Add water to a steaming device and bring to a boil. I use a saucepan with a steamer insert.
2. Dip the green ends of the scallions into the boiling water for 15-20 seconds until they are completed wilted.
3. Remove the white parts of the scallions and separate the green part into individual strands.
4. Divide the beans into 8 bunches.
5. Slice the bell pepper into 8 strips.
6. Tie the bundles of beans along with a strip of bell pepper with the greens of the onions. Be careful not to pull too hard on the onions.
7. Carefully place the bundles into the steamer insert and steam for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender, but still bright green.
8. While the beans are steaming, melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add salt and garlic and saute for 30 to 45 seconds.
9. Remove from heat.
10. To serve, place bundles on a platter. Carefully tighten the onion ties if necessary.
11. Pour garlic butter over the bundles.
12. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
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