What is the difference between string beans and haricots verts? Well, the short answer is not much; “haricots verts” literally means “green beans” in French. You can easily tell from looking at them that they clearly belong to the same vegetable family.
Haricots verts are usually a little longer than “regular” green beans, and because they tend to be harvested earlier, they are also skinnier. This means that haricots verts tend to be more tender and flavorful than their traditional cousins; they also tend to be a little more expensive.
Still, you can treat them just like you would green beans, and they’ll elevate any recipe that calls for green beans or string beans. I love to sauté them up with some shallots and red onions, and the recipe for that is just below. You can also dress them in a flavorful tarragon vinaigrette, or allow them to get all blistered in a homemade miso butter. They’re versatile and tender, and make for a great side dish.
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What Do Haricots Verts Look Like?
Haricots verts look a lot like string beans but are longer, thinner, and often brighter and darker in color. They are also pretty straight, without the curve regular string beans have.
What Do Haricots Verts Taste Like?
The taste of raw haricots verts has often been referred to as “green.” That’s because they do have a fresh, clean, “green” flavor. Regular green beans, unless they are very fresh, can have a more muted, dull flavor than haricots verts. In general, haricots verts can be used interchangeably with string beans, though they may have a slightly shorter cooking time because they are usually thinner.
Where to Find Haricots Verts
Haricots verts are often available in supermarkets, especially the more gourmet markets, as they tend to be considered a more “luxury” product. Sometimes they are loose, and sometimes, they are packaged. In season, they can often also be found in farmers markets.
Haricots verts should be firm, crisp, and bright green. Make sure they are free of wrinkles, brown spots, and bruises.
Haricots verts are often available year-round at specialty markets and at well-stocked regular supermarkets, too. Their true season is July through September, and that is when they are most tender and readily available at farmers markets.
Strong beans basically have the same nutritional profile as green beans. They are very low in calories and contain vitamins A and C and a whole lot of fiber.
How to Prepare Haricots Verts
Haricots verts are easy to prepare. The stemmed ends mark where the beans grew from the bush/pole. Remove those by cutting the ends off. Then, if the haricots verts are fresh from a farmers market and there is dirt on them, give them a good rinse before using them in a recipe. Once clean and trimmed, they are ready to be cooked.
How to Store Haricots Verts
Unwashed haricots verts can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container or bag for up to 7 days. If you wash them, they will last for less time as moisture will make them go bad faster. Raw haricots verts also freeze nicely but do wash and trim them before freezing. If you really want to retain their texture and color for when you get around to cooking with them, give them a quick blanch (1 to 2 minutes) in boiling water and let them cool before freezing.
How to Cook Haricots Verts: Here’s everything you need to know about how to buy, store, and cook haricots verts (plus a recipe for Sautéed Haricots Verts with Red Onions and Shallots!)Tweet This
Recipes With Haricots Verts
You can use haricots verts in any recipe that calls for green or string beans, and here are a few to try:
Sautéed Haricots Verts
My family loves a plate of sautéed and steamed green beans. But on an occasion when I want a little more color, taste, and texture on the table, I’ll kick things up a notch with something like this haricots verts recipe.
After finishing up the onions and beans, you can call it quits. Or, you can stir up the flavorful optional dressing and either drizzle it over the whole dish or pass it at the table for folks to add to their beans as they like. And then, with or without the dressing, you can sprinkle some shaved ricotta salata, feta, or goat cheese over the whole shebang.
- Haricots verts – Keep in mind if you’re subbing in green beans for haricots verts that they are a little more tender and fibrous than their cousins and should be cooked for a bit longer.
- Butter or olive oil – Choose whichever fat you prefer for sautéing purposes, or use a combo (which I love to do).
- Shallot and red onion – Slice these onion varieties thinly, and they’ll sweeten right up when they cook.
- Crumbly cheese (optional) – This is optional for serving. I like to use crumbled goat cheese, feta, or — if I have it on hand — some shaved ricotta salata.
How to Make Sautéed Haricots Verts
- Sauté the aromatics: Heat a bit of olive oil or butter in a skillet and sauté the shallots and red onions. Remove to a plate.
- Sauté the haricots verts: Cook the haricots verts in a bit more olive oil or butter just until the beans are nicely coated with the butter and browned in a spot or two.
- Steam: Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover the pan, and steam the veggies until they are bright green and almost cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.
- Combine all ingredients: Stir in the onions, and finish cooking to your liking, about 1 to 2 more minutes. Adjust the seasonings.
- Serve: Serve hot or warm, with or without crumbled cheese.
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Sautéed Haricots Verts with Red Onions and Shallots
For the Dressing (optional)
For the Haricots Verts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (divided)
- 2 shallots sliced
- 1 red onion (halved and thinly sliced)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- 1 pound haricots verts or string beans
- Crumbled goat cheese (or feta, shaved ricotta salata; optional, to serve)
- If you are making the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, orange juice and zest, shallot, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Place a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter. Add the shallots and onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 10 minutes until softened and slightly golden. Remove to a plate.
- Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil or butter. Add the haricots verts and season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for 2 minutes, only stirring once or twice, until the beans are nicely coated with the butter and browned in a spot or two.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover the pan, and steam the veggies until the beans are bright green and almost cooked through, 3 minutes longer. Remove the lid, stir in the onions, and allow the rest of the liquid to evaporate, while the vegetables finish cooking to your liking, 1 to 2 more minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve hot or warm, with cheese if desired.
- Keep in mind if you’re subbing in green beans for haricots verts that they are a little more tender fibrous than their cousins, and should be cooked for a bit longer.
- Choose whichever fat you prefer for sautéing purposes, or use a combo (which I love to do).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.