Today, I'm taking you on a little journey back to 1999, a year that forever changed my culinary outook as I visted France for the first time. Just imagine a charming neighborhood in Paris, the aroma of amazing food wafting through the streets from tiny bistros... and then I fall head over heels in love with haricots verts. Yes, you read that right – green beans!
Let's explore this side dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal or as a wonderful side dish for any holiday... whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever you might be celebrating! We will make it just as I first had it in a little bistro in Paris.
THIS RECIPE IS LOW CARB, GLUTEN FREE AND KETO.
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Let's take a closer look at the key ingredients for our French-style haricot verts recipe and their roles:
- Haricot Verts: The star of the show, these French green beans bring elegance and a tender-crisp texture to the dish.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Used for sautéing, it adds a rich, fruity flavor and healthy fats, perfect for low-carb diets.
- Slivered Almonds: These add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor, enhancing the dish's overall texture and taste.
- Garlic: Just a bit of garlic infuses the beans with a fragrant, savory depth.
- Lemon Zest: This brings a bright, citrusy note that lifts the flavors and adds a refreshing touch.
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Essential for seasoning, they enhance the natural flavors of the beans and almonds.
Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making this dish a true delight.
Questions about Haricot Verts...
What are Haricot Verts? Haricot verts are a type of green bean known for their slender and tender nature. Originating from France, these beans are thinner and often more flavorful than the typical green beans found in American grocery stores.
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How to Make this French Haricot Verts Recipe
Creating this French-style haricot verts dish is simple yet elegant cooking. Begin by blanching your haricot verts in a pot of boiling salted water. You're looking for that tender-crisp texture, achieved in just a few minutes. Then, swiftly move them to an ice bath. This step is crucial - it stops the cooking process and locks in that vibrant green color.
Next, the almonds. Toast them in a dry skillet until they turn a lovely golden brown, releasing a nutty aroma that's absolutely irresistible. Set these aside; they're going to be the crunchy topper to this dish.
Now, let's get those green beans flavored up. In the same skillet, warm some extra-virgin olive oil and toss in the minced garlic. You want it fragrant but not burnt, just a quick dance in the oil. Then, in go the haricot verts. Give them a good toss in the garlic-infused oil, heating them through and letting them soak up all those wonderful flavors.
The final act is a sprinkle of lemon zest, the toasted almonds, and a pinch of salt and pepper. This isn't just cooking; it's creating a harmony of flavors and textures that turn simple ingredients into a dish that’s both comforting and delightful.
Serve these haricot verts hot off the skillet, and watch as they bring a little piece of France to your table. Whether it's a weeknight dinner or a special holiday meal, this recipe is sure to impress with its balance of simplicity and sophistication.
Making French Haricot Verts: Pictoral Guide
Let's take an illustrated walk through this recipe, from blanching the beans to finishing with the lemon zest.
Holiday Haricot Verts Preparation: Making Ahead for Ease
When the holidays roll around, my kitchen becomes a hotbed of activity. I've written down some steps to help stay calm this upcoming holiday season. Following these simple steps not only saves time but also allows you to enjoy your holiday gatherings with less stress. Here's how to prep your haricot verts ahead of time and effortlessly bring them together right before serving:
1. Blanch the Beans in Advance:
- A day or two before your holiday meal, blanch the haricot verts as per the recipe. This step partially cooks the beans while preserving their vibrant green color and crisp texture. After blanching, plunge them into ice water to halt the cooking process, then drain them thoroughly. Store the cooled beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
2. Toast the Almonds:
- Toasting the almonds can also be done ahead of time. Once cooled, keep them in a sealed container at room temperature. This way, they'll retain their crunch and be ready to add that perfect nutty flavor to your dish.
3. Mince the Garlic and Prepare Lemon Zest:
- You can also mince the garlic and prepare the lemon zest a day in advance. Keep them in small, separate containers in the fridge to preserve their freshness and aroma.
4. Quick Final Assembly:
- When it's time to serve, all you need to do is quickly sauté the minced garlic in olive oil, toss in the pre-blanched haricot verts to heat them through, and then mix in the toasted almonds and lemon zest. This final step takes just a few minutes, ensuring your haricot verts are warm and bursting with flavor right when you're ready to eat.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating this French Haricot Verts Recipe
Storing: Once you've enjoyed your meal, if you find yourself with leftovers, don't worry! This dish stores beautifully. Simply place the cooled haricot verts in an airtight container and refrigerate. They'll keep well for up to 3-4 days. The flavors often meld and deepen with time, making your next serving possibly even more delicious than the first. After too many days, however, reviving the beans is difficult.
Freezing: Freezing haricot verts is a great way to extend their shelf life while maintaining most of their texture and flavor. After cooking, let them cool completely. It's important to skip the lemon zest if you plan to freeze, as it's best added fresh. Spread the beans and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Remember, freezing may slightly alter the texture, but they'll still be tasty!
Reheating: When it's time to reheat, you've got options. If they're refrigerated, simply reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warm. Add a splash of water or extra olive oil if they seem dry. For frozen haricot verts, it's best to let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Alternatively, you can reheat them directly from frozen in a covered skillet, adding a little water to help them steam back to life. Add the fresh lemon zest after reheating to revive that burst of citrusy freshness.
Perfect Main Courses to Pair with French Haricots Verts
Rotisserie Chicken: Nothing beats the simplicity and flavor of a classic Rotisserie Chicken. Its juicy, tender meat and crispy skin make it a crowd-pleaser. Paired with the elegance of French Haricots Verts, it's a match made in culinary heaven for any occasion.
Luscious Leg of Lamb Recipe: Elevate your dining experience with this Luscious Leg of Lamb. Its rich, savory flavors, infused with herbs and spices, complement the delicate taste of the haricots verts, creating a luxurious and satisfying meal.
Baked Chicken Leg Quarters: These Baked Chicken Leg Quarters are all about comfort and flavor. The crispy skin and succulent meat pair wonderfully with the light and elegant haricots verts, balancing richness with freshness on your plate.
Grilled Thick Cut Pork Chops: Imagine the smoky, juicy goodness of Grilled Thick Cut Pork Chops alongside the crisp, fresh haricots verts. This combination is not only delicious but also adds a hearty element to your meal, perfect for any gathering.
Lemon Artichoke Chicken: The zesty and tangy flavors of Lemon Artichoke Chicken bring a bright and refreshing twist. When served with haricots verts, it creates a harmonious blend of citrus notes and subtle green bean crispness, offering a lighter yet flavorful meal.
Slow Cooker Coq au Vin: Indulge in the rich, deep flavors of Slow Cooker Coq au Vin. This classic French dish, with its tender chicken and savory sauce, pairs beautifully with the light and crunchy haricots verts, making for an effortlessly elegant meal.
Explore More Holiday Side Dishes
Green Beans & Mushrooms: Dive into the earthy flavors of this dish where green beans meet the rich, umami taste of mushrooms. It's a combination that's both comforting and sophisticated, perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your holiday table.
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower: Give your holiday spread a kick with this spicy roasted cauliflower. It's not just about the heat; it's about how the roasting brings out a nutty, almost buttery flavor in the cauliflower. A must-try for those who love a little spice in their life.
Spicy Roasted Broccolini: This dish takes the unique, slightly bitter taste of broccolini and pairs it with a zesty spice blend. Roasting enhances its natural flavors, making it a bold and vibrant addition to any holiday meal.
Baked Brussels Sprouts Gratin: Indulge in the creamy, cheesy goodness of this Brussels sprouts gratin. It's a decadent side that combines the nutty taste of Brussels sprouts with a rich, gratin topping. Perfect for those special occasions where you want to treat yourself and your guests.
Sinfully Delicious Smashed Potatoes (not low carb!): Embrace the indulgence with these smashed potatoes. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and packed with flavor, they're a sinful delight that's worth every bite. While not low-carb, they're an irresistible treat for special gatherings.
Rustic Provencal Ratatouille: Experience the flavors of Provence with this rustic ratatouille. It's a medley of summer vegetables cooked to perfection, creating a symphony of flavors and colors. It's not just a side dish; it's a celebration of vegetables at their best.
Braised Carrots with Thyme (not low carb): These braised carrots are tender, sweet, and infused with the aromatic presence of thyme. It's a simple yet elegant dish that proves sometimes, the simplest ingredients make the most memorable flavors.
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