There are green beans, and there are green beans. This may not sound like a particularly pithy or thoughtful comment, but after many years of cooking many green beans, I’m here to say, freshness really, really counts.
Luckily for us, we are in green bean season. Look for beans that bright green, firm, and perky. And because during green bean season they are amazingly plentiful, then they will also usually be cheap. Bonus.
Green beans can be sautéed, roasted, or steamed. While the weather is still warm I love to give them a quick boil or steam, and then drain them and transfer them to a bath of ice water to stop the cooking, and also keep them at that satisfying crisp-tender texture. It also locks in that vivid emerald color and makes them ideal for salads like this one.
This herb dressing is bright and bracing, with that lovely anise-y flavor from the tarragon. Letting the shallots sit in the vinegar with the tarragon for a few minutes before adding the remaining dressing ingredients allows the shallots to pickle ever-so-slightly, which adds one extra layer of flavor to this very simple dish.
But take the concept and roll with it, all though those late summer early fall green beans months. Pick any favorite dressing and toss with the blanched and cooled green beans. If you’re feeling hurried or just wanting to keep things simple, some fresh lemon juice, a generous splash of good olive oil, and a sprinkling of some slightly coarse salt will give you a side dish to be proud of.
And next time you are putting together an antipasti platter, or some kind of nibble-y spread, remember these beans, which will add fresh flavor and color to the collection.
Serve Green Beans with Tarragon Vinaigrette with:
- Orange Salmon with Leeks and Mushrooms
- Grilled Marinated NY Strip Steak
- Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
- Baked Chicken Legs with Herbs and Lemon
- Indian Spiced Chicken and Potato Stew
- Citrus Marinated Salmon with Zesty Sauce
Other Green Bean Recipes:
- Blistered Green Beans with Miso Butter
- Honey Mustard Green Beans
- Green Bean Salad with Clementine Oranges and Feta
- Green Beans Two Ways
- Sautéed Haricot Verts with Red Onions and Shallots
- Green Beans with Chervil Vinaigrette
- Sautéed Green Beans and Oyster Mushrooms
Green Beans with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, tarragon and shallots. Set aside.
- Plunge the beans into the boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes until just barely tender. Drain and drop them immediately into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let them cool for a few minutes, then drain well.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil, mustard and salt and pepper to the shallot mixture and stir to combine. Turn the drained and cooled beans into a serving dish or bowl, drizzle over the dressing, and toss to coat the beans. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve at room temperature.
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