French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs

Ever see those skinny little green beans in the market? They’re a French variety of green bean, also known as haricot vert, or filet beans. Haricot verts are more delicate than regular green beans and cook up more quickly. This is a simple recipe in which you blanch the beans first, and then sauté them quickly in a little butter with onions and fresh garden herbs. If you can’t find haricot verts, you can use regular fresh green beans, just boil them a little longer.

Do you have a method of preparing haricot verts? Please let us know about it in the comments.

French Green Beans with Butter and Herbs Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Use fresh herbs if available. If not, you can used dried, but use a quarter as much.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin green beans (haricot vert), trimmed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp tarragon or basil, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp chives, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges

Method

1 Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain the beans and pat dry on a cloth or paper towel.

2 Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Cook the onions until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

3 Add the green beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

4 Add all the herbs and some salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

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Showing 4 of 27 Comments

  • Ana

    Thanks for another recipe, these haricot verts certainly look delicious. I usually prepare them in one of two ways (both of them are traditional Portuguese recipes):
    – to eat them cold as a side dish, I boil them until soft with a bit of salt. I let them cool and sprinkle with good quality olive oil and a few finely chopped garlic cloves. Very simple, but very yummy. This can be done either with haricot verts or regular green beans
    – the second recipe is usually done with regular green beans, but here it goes anyway: boil them with salt, but don’t let them get too soft. Let them cool a bit and coat them in a mixture of beaten eggs, flour and water. Fry them in sunflower oil until golden. This can be done using either the whole green beans, or cutting them in pieces and then frying spoonfuls of the green bean-egg-flour-water mixture and making a sort of patties.

  • sarah

    Oh, I love fresh beans so much! But my husband always complains that they are too squeaky to eat! So to get around this I cook and then puree them into a carbonara-type pasta sauce. And I call it velvety green carbonara… and he loves it! :-)

  • Cheryl

    I absolutely love it when my store or roadside market has fresh tiny slender green beans. They aren’t advertised as haricot vert, however, you can pretend, can’t ya?

    At Easter and Thanksgiving, I’ve been known to cook 4.5+ lbs of whole green beans for dinner for my family, and I love doing it in my very large crock pot.

    I use either my own, or store bought sodium free chicken stock, sliced garlic cloves, and a few smoked turkey necks (low fat, full of flavor). I start the pot on high for 1.5 hours, then reduce to low and cook them for 6-8 hours, turning the beans with a large pair of tongs every hour or so. When finished, I drain the beans (reserving the broth for another meal and put in freezer), top the beans with a nice couple tablespoons of light, salt free butter on the top of the large, large pile of beans, and sprinkle lightly with crushed sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Wish I had some now!!

  • kotomi

    I love these! They look great. I saw a recipe in Gourmet mag (RIP :() a few years ago that I’ve been using ever since. Just some soy sauce, garlic, and a little bit of oyster sauce. SO delicious!

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