Yesterday I cleaned up my sad little plot of a garden - it was a cool, damp summer, and the only vegetable to thrive was the little row of green beans. Of course. I had 8 different kinds of tomato plants and got perhaps two handfuls of cherry tomatoes - the rest withered away.
To be honest, I'm not that crazy about green beans, so I ignored the bushy corner of the garden until it came time yesterday to pull out the plants. I dutifully picked the big beans, which were still firm, and brought them in to the kitchen counter, where they sat for several hours, until I suddenly remembered the dijon vinaigrette I used to make years ago, often on top of sliced potatoes or cooked greens. I found the recipe in the first Silver Palate cookbook,, exactly the same recipe I used.
What I discovered this morning when I made this dish, is that I don't like those slender, spidery green beans we served in the restaurant - you know, the French ones. I love the hefty mature green beans, though, and the vinaigrette was perfect . Just make sure the beans are very firm.
Green Beans with dijon vinaigrette:
Make the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar ( I used a little less)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
a few grindings of fresh pepper
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley (or chives, if you have them)
1/2 cup good olive oil
Place the mustard in a bowl and whisk. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and parsley and whisk.
Continue to whisk while slowly dribbling in the olive oil until it thickens. Taste for seasonings and set aside.
Rinse the green beans and drain - I had about three big handfuls of beans. Trim off the tops of the beans, but you can leave the tails. I had two piles of beans: one whole and the other pile sliced in half.
Bring a pot of water to a slow boil, throw in half the beans and cook 4 minutes, scoop up and quickly run cold water over them, then set aside. Repeat with the rest of the beans, making sure you're not crowding the pan. Again, rinse with cold water and drain.
You can put all the beans in a serving dish, but I did individual platings. Drizzle a tablespoon of the vinaigrette on the plate or bowl, add a handful of cooked beans, then add a tiny bit more vinaigrette on top of the beans. Delicious!
How did YOUR garden grow this summer?