In the past I did not like to eat green beans in restaurants and certainly not in canteens as the green vegetable bomb was usually cooked to death with no vitamins left, a darkish colour and as bonus sometimes a string that got caught between you teeth.
In France, however, there are some restaurants that serve wonderful crispy beans. The difference is that the beans are not cooked and then kept warm, they are blanched, cooled and then fried before serving.
- One kilo of fresh green beans
- Large amount of water
- Three shallots
- One clove of garlic
- Some butter
- Cut the ends from the beans, remove any strings, wash then in water.
- Bring a large amount of water to the boil.
- Prepare a large bowl with very cold water.
- Clean and slice the shallots and the garlic.
- When the water boils, put the beans into a wire basket or steamer basket and lower this into the water. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes depending on how crisp you want the beans to be.
- Take the basket out of the boiling water and into the bowl with cold water. This is to stop the cooking process and keep the beans green. After a few minutes, take the beans out (they would turn soggy if kept in the water too long).
- Shortly before serving, put some butter in a large skillet. When the foam has subsided, add the shallots and garlic, stir and add the beans, stir some more and put on a serving dish.
You can add salt and pepper, you can also mix in a “sambal” chilli paste.