Green Beans Gremolata

June 10th, 2014

Green Beans Gremolata 1


While shopping at one of my favorite Supermarkets, I found a package of Haricot Vert, the lovely French thin green beans.  By the way, that store is a mega Harris Teeter store that we have dubbed the Taj maTeeter.  Although I usually like to shop at small stores with quality ingredients, Farmer’s markets and butcher shops, sometimes a trip to a mega store yields interesting ingredients.  Haricot Vert are hard to find.  Translated haricot means beans, vert means green.  French green beans are thinner and longer than the beans that we grow here in the United States.

Green Beans Gremolata 2V


The beans are cooked quickly and then put in an ice and water bath to stop the cooking and set the color.  This can be done way ahead of time.  What makes the beans taste so special is the gremolata garnish that is added during the final cooking.  Gremolata is a mixture of garlic, parsley, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.  It is usually associated with Osso Bucco, the popular Milanese veal shank dish.  The slow cooked veal shanks are garnished with the gremolata mixture.  But used on the green beans, the mixture sings with flavor.

Green Beans Gremolata 3


This is a wonderful side dish for a company meal.  Eat your heart out Dave S..  This was supposed to be for you.  We had a wonderful time at the blogger get together at Almost Heaven South.  There will be more about our gathering in future posts.  But in the meantime, enjoy this lovely and delicious side dish.


1 pound French green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 2 cloves )
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest ( 2 lemons )
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons tasted pine nuts
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp.  Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Drain the beans and pat them dry.  Add the beans to the pan and saute, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through.  Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well.  Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

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Balsamic Green Beans with Onions

February 23rd, 2013

After spending a week in North Carolina in the cold and snow, I have a new appreciation for the Florida weather.  For all of you who live in the northern climates, I understand the need for warmth and comfort in your diet.  But even here in our milder climate we crave the same things; roast beef cooked long and slow, simmering soups and warm bread.  Winter vegetables are usually the root variety; the kinds that can bury their goodness below ground away from the chill of the season.  We have been eating carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and beets.  But I did find some Florida grown green beans the other day.  They were fresh with a good snap to them.

Green beans, by themselves, can be kind of boring in my opinion.  So I decided to amp up the flavor by adding onions; lots of them.  Have you noticed how many recipes start out with “chop up an onion”.  We probably eat more onions that any other vegetable.  When cooked slowly they caramelize and become sweet and pungent.  They are a good counterpoint to the crisp green beans.  Add in some balsamic vinegar and you have a tasty side dish.

Florida strawberries are in the markets now too.  I love getting a jump start on Spring.  This is the time of year I yearn for the sight of daffodils and cherry blossoms. It won’t be long before we return to North Carolina and the flowering dogwoods.  Spring in the mountains is glorious.  But in the meantime I will enjoy my seasonal Florida fruits and vegetables.


1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3 onions, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 pound of green beans, tops trimmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch beans in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove and place in a bowl of ice water to set the color.  Place on paper towels while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet over moderate-high heat.  Add onions and cook stirring often for about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add chicken broth and cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the blanched green beans to the skillet along with the balsamic vinegar, cover and cook for about 4 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Note:  I did not blanch my beans first and found them to be too crisp and not as green as I would have liked.  Next time I will do them as I have indicated here.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.