The French call them haricot verts (ah ree koh vayhr). The French green bean is slightly different from our variety. They are longer and thinner and very tender. To achieve the same results, it is best to pick your green beans while they are still small and just maturing in the garden. This is the best time of year to find young beans at Farmer’s Markets also.
I am relying on the Farmer’s Market more this year than I was last year. Last year we had a plot in the local community garden, but because of the lack of water and the commute back and forth, we decided to give it up. Our cottage is surrounded by towering oaks so there is limited sunshine to sustain a large garden plot. But this year we were able to terrace a sunny hill next to the house for a small garden. My green beans are growing, but not ready to pick yet.
I have donated a Provencal dinner to a recipient at a silent auction for charity and the green beans are part of the menu. See the complete menu here. Because of scheduling conflicts, I will not be able to deliver the dinner until some time in July. I am hoping to still be able to pick some small green beans from my garden then.
The recipe for Haricort Verts Provencale came from Richard Olney’s Provence the Beautiful Cookbook. It is a stunning coffee table book with lovely pictures of the region and recipes that are authentic to Provence. The green beans and garlic are sauteed in olive oil with bread crumbs. It makes a lovely presentation and tastes simple and fresh.
HARICOTS VERTS A LA PROVENCALE
Small, tender green beans, 3 – 4 inches long, are best for sauteing. Larger beans should be snapped in two and parboiled before being sauteed.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and curshed
1 lb small, tender green beans, top end trimmed
salt and freshly ground pepper
handful of dried bread crumbs ( I used Panko crumbs)
Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and, when they begin to sizzle and color, add the beans. Cook, tossing repeatedly, for 4-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and grind over some pepper. Add the crumbs and toss or stir with a wooden spoon only until the crumbs are crisp and begin to color.
David left on his motorcycle trip to Alaska on Sunday. What a better send off could you get than a farewell kiss from your Granddaughter? Safe travels David. I will be joining him in Anchorage on June 9th. Here is a link to his blog, Riding with Dave, if you want to follow along with his adventures. He has not posted anything new yet because the road has been long and the weather horrible.