The Bijouxs holiday table would be incomplete without offering this endearing rendition of country French green beans, haricots verts à l’ancienne. French cut string beans are tossed with butter, freshened with lemon juice and accented with shallots and parsley: another recipe from the treasured Bijouxs archive.
Country French cooking is where I began my journey with food, and my affinity for its fresh, simple elegance keeps me wanting more. I can’t think of any approach to green string beans that is simpler and fresher than this recipe.
The recipe, from the Bijouxs treasured archive, is originally from Vogue Magazine, and attributes the recipe to Mme Moissonier, the owner of Madame’s Restaurant Le Plantay, in Villars-les-Dombes, France, a region known for great food. I immediately loved the image of Madame’s smiling face, and sampled every one of her recipes. Her Chicken in Cream, Volaille à la crème bonne femme, recipe is bound for the Bijouxs cookbook.
Over the years, not much has changed the recipe except for the discovery of this marvelous little kitchen tool, a bean cutter that a friend shared with me. It trims the ends of the beans, strings and perfectly French cuts the beans, all for about $10.00. I realize I sound like an infomercial, but I assure you this is the gadget to have if you love French cut string beans. You may of course use whole green beans, and then it is best to use the small French green beans (haricots verts) that may be found either fresh of frozen.
I prep the beans by blanching them quickly in boiling salted water, only for about 5 minutes if you have used the French cut tool, immediately plunging them in a bowl of cold water. Drain and dry thoroughly. I usually do this part an hour or so before service time; the beans just take a few minutes to sauté, and voilà perfect country French green beans.
Bijouxs wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.
P.S. Updated info – for local Bijouxs readers I just found the Krisk bean slicer at Bristol Farms cooking store – mine finally broke after years of use – so I bought two.