Sauteed Haricots Verts with Garlic (Lots of Garlic)
This year I decided to join a Community-Supported Agriculture farm so I get a delivery of fresh organic produce every week. This week, I am swimming in young green beans/haricots verts. Yesterday I just ate some raw with sprinkles of sea salt; dinner tonight will be a recipe I learned in Senegal:
- About a pound (half a kilo) of whole haricots verts
- About 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter (garlic-infused oil is excellent for this)
- Eight cloves of garlic: three sliced and five chopped
- Powdered cayenne pepper or other hot pepper
1. Leave beans whole; only snap off the pointy ends if you want to (I don't bother).
2. Blanch the beans: bring a large pot of salted water to boil; add a generous handful of beans to the pot, cook for two minutes (the color will get vivid green); lift out with slotted spoon or tongs and plunge into ice water. Put aside to dry (drying is important). Repeat until all the beans are done. Pat them dry (really, really dry)
3. Heat the oil or butter in large skillet or wok. Add the garlic, make sure it doesn't burn.
4. Add the beans (note, if they're wet, they'll spatter you with hot oil, plus they'll steam instead of sauteeing). Stir and toss constantly for about 3 minutes, until tender-crisp. Sprinkle with good salt; serve steaming hot.
When I was in Senegal, they cooked the beans until they got wrinkly and dark and utterly delicious (but less nutritious) instead of tender-crisp. Sometimes I do that too.
This is one of those by-guess-and-by-gosh recipes, so feel free to increase the garlic, leave out the cayenne, add mushrooms, whatever you want. As long as the beans have been toweled dry and you keep them moving in the pan, it will be delicious...