It must be no secret that green beans are one of my favorite ingredients. I've probably created over a hundred versions of a green bean side dish and almost always make one of them for every holiday party I host/attend/cater.
I prefer to use haricots verts (aka French beans), which is French for "green beans." They are a thinner, longer version of the traditional American green bean and have a smoother, sleeker look and texture. You can find them at most grocery stores.
What I think really makes this special is the walnut oil.* It's a bit of an investment but is super flavorful (and good for ya!)- and jazzes up any salad or vegetable. It's also highly perishable, so needs to be stored in the fridge.
INGREDIENTS: (makes 6 small sides)
- 12 oz. haricots verts, stemmedtip1
- 2 tbsp. walnut oiltip2
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- zest of 1 lemon (juice is optional)
- 1/3 cup whole walnuts, toasted
- 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
- kosher salt to taste (plus blanching water)
- cracked black pepper
To toast the walnuts:
-Preheat the oven to 300° F.
-Toast walnuts until light golden brown when cut in half, about 10 minutes.
-Roughly chop walnuts into small pieces; reserve.
For the haricots verts:
-Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.tip3
-Set up a bowl of ice water to shock the haricots verts.tip4
-When water is at a boil, blanch the haricots verts until bright green and still have a bite, about 45 seconds-1 minute. Transfer to ice water bath; drain.
-Cut on a diagonal into 1½” pieces and reserve at room temperature.
-In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, heat the walnut oil until warm.
-Sweat the shallot and garlic and until translucent (season with salt and pepper) but not brown then add the lemon zest.
-Add the haricots verts and chopped walnuts to the pan and coat just until the outsides of the beans are hot.
-Season with additional salt and pepper and add lemon juice (optional).tip5
-Mix in chopped parsley and serve at room temperature.tip6
1. Haricots verts is French for “green beans.” They are a longer, thinner version of the traditional green bean.
2. Walnut oil is available at most high-end grocery stores (including Whole Foods) or health/ specialty stores.
3. There should be enough salt to make the water salty when tasted; blanching the beans ahead of time cook the beans while retaining their bright green color.
4. The ice water bath is used to stop the cooking of the beans.
5. If you choose to add the lemon juice, don’t add it until right before serving or the beans will turn brown!
6. I usually serve this at room temperature but they are also great cold or hot- your choice! If serving hot, reheat in a 400° F. until hot to touch.