Friday, March 29, 2013

A Green Bean ain't no Plain Jane

Just look at these beauties! 

I'm one of those people who (firmly) believes that every plate must be rounded out. Balanced, if you will.  By this I mean, there simply must be something green on every plate. If not, I go a little crazy.  Have you ever seen photos in magazines of salmon and lentils? I love salmon.  I love lentils.  But a plate of salmon and lentils without something green? I can't even make this appetizing in my mind with no green.

Because of my green compulsion, green beans make a very regular appearance in our house. The beauty of green beans is that they are good for you, they are pretty neutral, they look pretty and they can play many roles.  Kids love them, adults love them and you can use them in a zillion ways.  But I think many families ignore green beans because (at least in the South) all they know is to boil them and maybe add a little salt.  Wake up!  The green bean is one of the most versatile vegetables I know.  You can do everything with them.  At the risk of sounding like Bubba Blue from "Forrest Gump," you can boil them, steam them, poach them, saute them, roast them, put 'em in a casserole, pickle 'em, make a salad out of them, etc, etc, etc.

Which brings me to tonight.  I was making simple grilled steaks, baked Yukon gold potatoes, salad and green beans.  I just got some "haricots verts" from Costco on Sunday.  <<It's funny that en Francais, "haricots verts" means "green beans."  But in America, "haricots verts" means "fancy little green beans." >> Whatever, I love them no matter what you call them, in any language.  Tonight I wanted my haricots to have a little "je ne sais quois" so here's what I came up withSince true French haricots don't need much cooking time (they are slimmer), I decided to gently simmer them in a vegetable bouillon with garlic and onion.   

Just chopped up about half an onion; whatever amount you want of course!

1 1/2 cups of water with two veggie bouillon cubes

Onions and garlic simmering in the bouillon

Yeah, I quit chopping garlic a long time ago; haricots verts from Costco

And, then just simmered for about 15 minutes and they were awesome!
Ridiculously simple, but yowza! I was really pleased with the result.  The flavor and crisp, cleanness of the green bean wasn't lost, but merely enhanced just ever so much by the other flavors.  I'm definitely making our G.B.'s this way more often.

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