I'm feeling like a side dish this week. But not just any side dish. One with veggies (of course). One with FLAVOR. One that perhaps is just a notch up on the "fancy-scale". (Bet you didn't know there was such a thing, did you?) And before you get all "You're getting WAY too uppity for me!" remember two things: (1) haricots verts are green beans (pretty unfancy) and this recipe uses frozen haricots verts.
Ok, now I will say that there are some small differences between the traditional green beans we are used to seeing and haricots verts. (BTW - it's pronounced (a-ree-koh ver".) Haricots verts are younger, skinnier, a little more flavorful, and (surprise, surprise) more expensive than traditional green beans. These guys are also known as "French beans" or even "French filet beans". The difference between them and traditional green beans? Not much. As a matter of fact, haricots verts just means “green beans” in French. (Boy, I'm really taking the "fancy" out of this aren't I?)
I like this recipe because it takes a pretty simple ingredient (green beans) and adds a whole bunch of flavor. And it makes an attractive side dish besides. Oh, and did I mention it's quick and easy? How does about 20 minutes sound?
This recipe begins with some sliced, pitted kalamata olives (which add some nice briny, salty flavor). You then whisk together minced shallots, some red wine vinegar, some whole grain mustard, sugar and olive oil. What you get is a very flavorful vinaigrette. You mix the olives and the mustard vinaigrette together. And then it just awaits the green beans.
As for the haricots verts, in this recipe Liz uses a pound of frozen haricots verts - which works great (and a great - only - option if they are not in-season). If they are in-season and you want to put in a little more effort you can opt for the fresh kind (which should be appearing at markets mostly around late Spring). You just need to wash (of course), cut the tips off, and remove any strings. Then cook the beans in a large pot of boiling salted water (use about 1 tbsp salt for 6 qts water), uncovered, until crisp-tender (about 6 minutes). Then just drain them.
Whether you use frozen or fresh, after the beans reach crisp-tender you place them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further. Once the beans are cool you place them in your serving bowl, toss them with the vinaigrette, and serve 'em up.
Now, just a word or two about the ThatSkinnyChickCanBake.com blog. It's a really nice food blog written by Liz Berg from Indianapolis, Indiana. She began her blog in 2010. Since she loves to bake you'll find the recipes on her blog heavier on baked goods and sweet stuff (no problem with that!). But she also shares tons of recipes in many other categories. The blog is definitely worth checking out!