Which is to say, of course: little tiny green beans that have been blanched, popped into an ice water bath, drained, and, finally, sautéed in good olive oil that has been heated with bits of garlic, shallots, and crushed red pepper to add some flavor.
Yeh – it sounds like a lot to go through for green beans, but they are really tasty this way, and you can do all that blanching and ice water bathing stuff early on, leaving you ample time to enjoy a sparkling cocktail with guests before the finishing sauté.
•Coarse sea salt
•1/2 pound haricots verts, stem ends removed (I buy mine frozen)
•Extra-virgin olive oil
•2 garlic cloves, smashed
•1 tsp dried shallots, reconstituted in 1 tbsp water or white wine, then drained
•Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Add the beans to a large pot of well-salted boiling water and cook until just tender, but still a nice, rich green – about 5 minutes – then transfer the beans to a large bowl of salted ice water, which will stop them from cooking any more, and keep them tender-crisp. Sorry, I didn’t get any shots of this part, but that large orange pot was involved. Drain the beans when they are cool.
Beans cooked, shocked in ice and drained, we are ready for the big finish.
Add the oil, garlic, shallots, and red pepper to a sauté pan (I used the pot I had boiled the beans in) and cook on medium high heat, just until the garlic is golden brown and aromatic.
Add the green beans and sauté until hot and coated with that now nicely flavored oil.
A little salt, a little nice black pepper, and you have yourself some nice haricots.
And, just thinkin’, a splash of 25 year old balsamic at the very end might not be too, too bad, either.