Chez Francois is a small café in Paris on Rue St. Charles. The menu, which is hand written, changes every few days, depending on what’s in season and available. The food is always freshly prepared, and the side dishes, which also vary, are fresh and delicious. This wonderful green bean dish accompanied my entrée at a recent dinner there, and it was so good, I almost ordered seconds. It had never occurred to me that garlic could be used as a vegetable rather than as a seasoning; in this dish the garlic mellows while cooking, and the taste isn’t at all overpowering. Because of the high sodium content in the chicken bouillon, the beans stay a beautiful bright green, even if they sit for a while in a chafing dish or on a warming tray on the buffet table, making them especially suitable for entertaining.
Haricot Vert, pronounced [ah-ree-koh VEHR], is just the French name for thin green string beans. To save time, purchase the beans frozen; I like the ones from Costco because, in addition to being organic, they are very thin and tender; however, you may use any frozen uncut green beans. Fresh beans are also good, but they are not as fast since it takes time to trim the ends; the taste of the finished dish is identical whether fresh or frozen beans are used.
One word of caution; this dish isn’t one to be consumed within 48 hours of a first date or for those who plan on socializing in close quarters with others who have not eaten the beans. To avoid dirty looks, crowding into an elevator is also not advisable.
Haricot Vert with Garlic
2 tablespoons butter
8 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into 1/4" - 1/2" chunks
2 teaspoons granular chicken bouillon (or use vegetable bouillon for a vegetarian dish)
1/2 cup water
1 pound haricot vert (petite French green beans)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Melt the butter in a large skillet.
- Add the garlic and stir over medium heat for 1 minute; make sure it doesn't brown.
- Stir in the bouillon and water; bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and add the haricot vert.
- When the liquid has returned to boil, stir the beans so that they are coated with the reducing broth and garlic mixture.
- Cover the pan and let cook 3 minutes
- Remove the lid, stir well, recover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed and the beans are tender.
- Add pepper to taste and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71 Calories from Fat 36
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 51% Protein 10% Carb. 39%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 106 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 13% Vitamin C 23% Calcium 0% Iron 5%