I made this last week and can't remember what I served it with.. but these are so dang gOOd I'd eat them plain.
I've always seen beans cooked in a pot of boiling salted water and while I have no problem with that (actually.. I lied, I do - they taste so bleh when just blanched and kinda make me wanna dislike my greens) this way is just SO much better.
These beans are crisp but tender and have a whole new level of flavor.
Feel free to use french beans or string beans or any beans you like.
There are no rules. And, if there were - I've learned not to play by them.
If you do use string beans make sure to snap the stem ends off. I didn't with the french cause I didn't think it was necessary.
French Beans (Printer Friendly)
Cook Time - 20 minutes Servings - 4
1 pound beans (french or string)
1 small onion ( or 2 shallots; thinly sliced)
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
4 bacon slices (some grease reserved)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
splash of lemon juice
*I used a palmful of sea salt to season the water I blanched the beans in.
First you need to do two things:
One, get some water boiling in a pot. Pour in some salt (not too much, a rough palmful is good).
Two, take a big bowl - fill it with some water and a whole lot of ice. Set aside.
*Here's a tip I learnt from Anne Burrel - salt the cold water too.
This way your beans are still flavored when shocked in an ice bath.
Then toss the beans in the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Taste one - you want to make sure they still retain a mild crunch.
Using a mesh strainer fish them out and put them in the bowl of icy cold water.
This stops the beans from cooking so they retain their bright green color.
Then , in a pan fry some bacon until crisp.
Go ahead and crumble them into bite size pieces.
I used my hands and it looked like this..
Weirdly small but still good! Now..
Wait - STOP - reserve some of the bacon grease.
Then, in the same pan saute the onion slices until translucent over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Toss in the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
It is now time to get this show on the road..
- Drain beans - toss them with the onion and garlic.
- Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat until the beans are just hot.
- Squeeze in a splash of lemon juice.
- Toss in the bacon.
These were perfectly flavored - the onion was caramelized, the beans were tender yet slightly crisp and the bacon bits ran through them rendering all that good meaty flavor..