These are haricots verts at their best, one of my favorite vegetables, served with garlic herbed butter. No snails though, as the name may suggest. David Lebovitz explains: “The name refers to butter mixed with a copious amount of garlic that is used for baking snails, those wriggly little creatures that need to be highly seasoned…”
We’ve never left a plate of snails alone (when we ordered it in France) without sopping up the last drop of the luxurious garlic herbed butter sauce with pieces of bread. Who’d have thought the sauce tastes just as good with green beans and without the snails? This dish is a big hit in my family.
Ever since I took a fine-dining course at the French Culinary Institute in New York city, the tips of my green beans are always trimmed. That’s the only way beans are prepared. I believe I got some remarkable training in French cooking at the Institute. However, you have to be willing to endure the rigorous regiment of following a set of aesthetics and culinary rules, including saying “yes, chef,” repeatedly, no questions asked. That’s what expected from the apprentices. I probably asked too many questions to be considered a good one there.
So tips of green beans are always cut in my kitchen. (First, line up a bunch of beans horizontally with the tips against the blade of the chef’s knife you are holding. Cut off the tips in one down motion all at once. Turn the beans around. Tuck and line up the green beans again, tips against the knife, and cut. Repeat until all the tips of the green beans are trimmed.) I have to say that I enjoy my beans without the tips.
According to David’s recipe in My Paris Kitchen, three tablespoons of minced garlic, half a cup of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and half a stick of butter (two ounces) went into making the butter sauce for one pound of green beans. What can be better?
Next time, I may make this garlic-parsley butter sauce in a cast iron pan. (Shallots and fresh tarragon leaves are good alternatives to parsley.) Then add in the green beans in the sizzling hot pan, in the manner that escargots à la Bourguignonne are served.
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