To quote a favorite cookbook author, Patricia Wells, “Young, tender green beans and basil are a Provençal marriage made in heaven.” The pungent, glorious basil combines beautifully with the sweetness of fresh, tender green beans. When you have produce as fresh and perfect a this the simplest of preparation is all that is required. This recipe could be served as a vegetable dish or as a first course. It should be offered warm to best enhance the pungency of the herb and for the appreciation of a discerning audience.
The recipe is easy – the freshest of the freshest green beans, a chiffonnade of fresh basil leaves, a little of your finest extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings. You can cook the beans up to four hours ahead of time.
|GREEN BEANS WITH BASIL ... Haricots Verts au Basilic|| |
- ¼ cup coarse sea salt
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed (both ends if desired)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed, cut into a chiffonade
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- a few red pepper flakes
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Fill the pasta pot with about 5 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the coarse sea salt and the beans, and cook ntil crisp-tender, about 3 - 5 minutes. (Cooking time will vary, according to the size and tenderness of the beans.)
- Immediately remove the colander from the water, allow the water to drain from the beans, and plunge the colander with the beans into the ice water so they cool down as quickly as possible. (The beans will cool in 1 to 2 minutes. If you leave them longer, they will become soggy and begin to lose flavour.)
- Drain the beans and wrap them in a thick towel to dry. (the beans can be cooked up to 4 hours in advance. Keep them wrapped in the towel and refrigerate if desired.)
- At serving time, place the beans in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the basil and the oil. Warm the mixture, tossing to coat the beans, l to 2 minutes. Season to taste. Serve warm.