I despised green beans for a long time once I was an adult. I didn’t mind them as a child, contrary to canned peas. It was only once I got older that I realized that the problem wasn’t the peas then, nor the green beans now. It was the can. It’s a texture thing. I can’t do the mush. Once I realized that peas didn’t have to be mushy and olive colored but vibrant green and crisp, I loved them. Once I discovered that green beans could have the same, tasty fate, I stopped giving them the cold shoulder.
For the last few years, my go-to recipe has been fresh beans, steamed for about 3-4 minutes and cooked in butter, garlic, shallot and cayenne pepper. Add a heavy dose of sea salt and I was a happy camper. Then I got bored. I stopped buying them so often. And then I discovered green beans, cooked the way I liked them, but with a vinaigrette! Who knew that a simple sauce could liven these beans up in such a way. These beans are on a whole ‘nother level, and are just as good hot off the stove as they are cold the next day.
My favorite green beans (hot or cold)
1/2 lb green beans, ends snapped off and rinced
1/2 small onion or shallot, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 T butter
Salt and pepper
2 T lemon juice
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 C walnut oil
Handful of basil
Cut or snap the ends off of your beans and rinse them thoroughly. Blanch them or steam them for about 3-4 minutes. In a large pan, heat the butter over medium/high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the green beans. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and a bit of cayenne or Espelette. Turn heat down to medium and cook for about 10-15 minutes more, until the beans are done to your liking.
In a small bowl, whisk the walnut oil, lemon juice, vinegar and basil and pour over the hot beans. Eat as is, or let them cool for a more summery feel.