I love French green beans and was delighted to receive these beauties as a gift. After blanching, I typically sauté them in olive oil and slivered almonds so they come out crunchy. My family loves them, and we eat them like French fries. Here I’ve changed them up a bit and used pepitos, which are pumpkin seeds.
French Green Beans
- 3 cups French green beans
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pepitos
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Parboil the green beans in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes till bright, but just partially cooked. Drain them and immediately throw into icy water to stop them from cooking further. Then dry the green beans. Brown the garlic by sautéing the thinly sliced garlic on medium heat in olive oil. The goal is to get them nicely browned, but don’t leave the stove — watch them carefully, flip them over, and just as they’re getting browned, pull each one off as it’s finished. Dry roasting nuts is a great way to enhance the flavor of so many dishes and is typically done on medium to medium high heat. It takes just a few minutes and needs to be watched constantly. When done, pull off the nuts and pulse in the food processor to a nutty crumble. (You want them in nice sized pieces, so make sure not to pulse too much into a powdery meal. It’s kind of tricky, so take your time, and it should only take a couple of pulses.) Heat a tablespoon of olive on the stove and add the dry green beans. Add two pinches of salt and stir. Cook them for a minute or 2, then turn down the heat so they are cooked but not browned. When they are done, remove from the pan, stir in the garlic and some of the nuts, then sprinkle the remaining nuts on top. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if you need to.
Recipes can be tricky because everyone uses different products and equipment. The green bean I get is likely quite different than the green bean you get, and my oven temp is different than your oven temp. Recipes are good as a guide, and for ideas, but what is important is not to get locked into it. Listen to your own wisdom when cooking. For me, cooking is a meditation, and a way to disconnect from everything else and connect to my deepest self. My recipes are meant to be guides that you can use as a resource. Please report back and share your experience. I often hesitate to write a recipe, because for me, it can be difficult to capture the alchemy of that cooking moment. If I could have you walk away with one thing it would be to use this as a guide, but don’t be locked into it. Cooking completely depends on the contents of your unique cupboard and your refrigerator. Take this as an idea and do your own riff on it. Here’s the reality: when your green beans are done, take them off–it could be 3 minutes for me, 6 minutes for you. Cooking is a time to completely let go, listen to your own voice, have some fun, and create beautiful food.