String beans

How to Blanch String Beans, Green Beans, or Haricot vert

String beans

Welcome to “How To” on Eating In Bed!  It’s hard to learn how to cook with no explanation of the method you’re using.  So, this section of the site is dedicated to making delicious food accessible and fun,while introducing you to proper cooking technique!

Summer means my favorite fresh produce, and towards the top of that list are green beans.  Green beans are also known as string beans and haricot vert, haricot vert is French for green bean and they are generally picked when they’re younger so they are more slender and tender.  My friend Kris just grew a green bean plant and it has supplied him with an abundance of the little stringy beany (hence string bean) crunchy delights.  Green beans are a weird food, in that if you buy them frozen they’re soft with a little bite, when canned they’re soggy and mushy, and when they’re fresh they have the most insane level of tender-crispness!

 

My friend Kris’ mom is a chef/restaurateur and he takes after her with his green beans; they’re firm believers that green beans should be warmed, not cooked.  And I agree; green beans have a great crunch and snap to them, and every time you hear the bean crunch you’re getting that delicate earthy flavor, why would you want to cook that to mush?  The two best ways to warm them, but not cook them, are blanching and sauteing, and today we’re going to learn how to properly blanch green beans to retain their flavor, color, and texture.

 

Blanching

Blanching is a process of submerging a food for a short period of time in boiling water or stock; then the food is submerged in an ice bath to halt the cooking process preserving color, flavor, and texture.

 

 

HOW TO BLANCH GREEN BEANS FOR LEMON GINGER GREEN BEANS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1lb Green Beans (Cut the ends off and 1/2 the huge ones)
  • 5 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Cup Shaved Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Ginger
  • 2-3 Cups Ice Cubes

 

RECIPE

  1. Bring your 5 cups of water to a boil, don’t add salt because it’ll pull moisture from the beans faster
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the ice and fill with water
  3. Throw your green beans in the boiling water, cover
  4. Cook 3 -4 minutes, if they start losing they’re bright vibrant green yank them immediately
  5. Throw the green beans in the ice water, and stir them for 10 seconds
  6. Let them sit 3-4 minutes to stop the cooking process
  7. Set them on a paper towel to dry and empty the mixing bowl
  8. Combine all the ingredients in the mixing bowl to make your lemon ginger vinaigrette (except the green beans and almonds)
  9. Plate your beans and dress with the lemon ginger vinaigrette
  10. Garnish with shaved almonds and add more salt or pepper if you want

This will give you a deliciously light refreshing green bean salad that goes great with any summer grilling menu.  Every time you get a well dressed bite with some almonds your mouth explodes from the flavor.  The acidity mixed with the nutty flavor of the almonds  are mellowed by the delicate, but present, flavor of the green beans.

 

I hope this has inspired you to go buy some fresh string beans, green beans, or haricot vert and blanch them up!  When you do, I would love to hear how yours turned out and what you did with them.

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