Thursday, March 7, 2013

Haricot Verts

We saw these gorgeous haricot verts at one of the local farmers markets. They are slimmer than my pinkie and barely as long as my fingers. They were so fresh and crisp that we were snacking on them right out of the bag on the way home. Because of our background training our first thought was to trim, blanch and shock. But that seemed wasteful somehow. Yes the firm little tips needed to go but the delicate tails were no hardship to nibble. These beans were so delicate and small that blanching felt unnecessary. They could be seared in a hot skillet or wok and ready to eat in seconds. Or we could cut them into bites sized pieces and marinate them in a chunky roasted almond-miso vinaigrette, allowing the acid and a little time in the fridge to do the cooking for us. Their inherent sweetness made us think of braising. Giving them long slow cook in flavorful liquid or olive oil enriched with garlic and herbs would soften them into meltingly tender bites. This might fly in the face of modern cooking methods but it would produce surprisingly flavorful beans. We could skewer them and let them get slightly charred and smoky on a hot grill and then toss them in a warm bacon vinaigrette. Decisions, decisions, sometimes choosing a method is the hardest part of dinner.

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