Haricot Verts with Key Lime Butter
Sunday, June 8, 2014
I vividly remember the first time I’d ever heard of haricot verts. I was watching a certain woman of perfect cooking, entertaining, and living when I saw what appeared to be ordinary humble green beans appear on the screen. As she washed and caressed the seemingly exotic cousin of the oh-so-hum-drum green bean, she introduced them in that familiar, calm almost aristocratic voice.
Ok, I’m just going to say it. It was Martha Stewart. No matter how much the world may attempt to shame me into thinking that Martha is the root of all things overly perfected in the world of home cooking (and, well living in general…(hello perfectly-arranged -bouquet-of-fresh-cut-flowers-just-harvested-from-your-backyard-garden)), she takes the concept of old-school home economics and makes it, well, an art form. For that I love her.
There….I said it…
Turns out green beans are probably the only vegetable that suffers a distinctly human curse; having a thinner (albeit shorter) sister. Oh how so many of us know your pain green bean. Because of their slightly more svelte size, haricot verts are much more tender and easier to prepare for cooking (no snapping off the ends) than her sister green bean. And they aren’t quite as special as they pretend to be as they are getting easier to find, particularly during the summer months as they come into season. Of course, you could use green beans if that’s all you can find.
The thing about fresh vegetables is to keep the preparation super-simple, especially for summertime cooking. I came up with this recipe as a side dish for a fish recipe that involved a fresh green apple and tomatillo salsa, so I needed to prepare them in a way that would play well with the other flavors and ingredients. Since I’d seen other recipes for green beans that involved lemon, I figured key lime would work, right? Oh yea….it SO works! (this is one of the fun things about cooking at home, after you’ve done it for a while, you actually do start to come up with ideas without cracking open a cook book (or typing www….)). Doesn’t that just make you want to run to the kitchen and get started?
Yes, I use butter. This is often a shock to most people when they find out that I am a former chubby girl who focuses on healthy cooking. Butter… that harbinger of high cholesterol and heart attacks.
Ok, first, calm down. I mean, it’s just two tablespoons.
And second, well, butter has gotten kind of a bum wrap. It’s one of the most natural unadulterated products you can eat.
Of course, like most things, if you Google butter+health, you’ll find plenty of opinions for and against it for health. The latest consensus declares what you probably already know….moderation is the key. If you are determined to avoid butter for whatever reason (from being a practicing vegan to you just don’t believe the latest health findings (which is fine with me…as long as you don’t believe in Big Foot or that Kim Kardashian’s latest marriage is forever)), use whatever substitute you’d like.
…but the butter part really is delicious
Haricot Verts with Key Lime Butter
servings: 2-3 | time: about 10 minutes
12 ounces fresh haricot verts (or green beans)
2 TBSP. unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
zest from one small key lime
1. Steam the green beans for 3-4 minutes, just until tender. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside
2. Melt the butter and lime zest over low heat, just until the butter is liquid and the lime becomes fragrant
3. Use a spoon to drizzle the warmed butter and lime over the beans. Toss to coat and taste for seasoning
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