Sometimes the simplest things are the most pleasurable. This recipe is a perfect example.
Three ingredients. Haricots verts (French green beans), potatoes and lemon zest make a side dish that is not only versatile, but utterly delicious — every mouthful satisfying both the taste buds and the soul, enticing you to come back for more.
I must admit this is a recipe I prepare all year long (the ingredients are readily available in any supermarket in any season). But it’s never better than in summer when the haricots verts are snappy and skinny, and the potatoes freshly dug up.
Three steps. Boiling the potatoes, blanching the beans and sautéing both with the lemon zest. As with any recipe that relies on a few ingredients, freshness is paramount — and cooking technique is crucial! The beans must be blanched until barely tender and the potatoes sautéed until perfectly golden-brown. Enjoy!
Sautéed haricots verts with baby red potatoes and lemon zest
active time: 25 min
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) baby red potatoes – unpeeled and left whole
- 1 tablespoon sea salt for the blanching water
- 8 oz (225 g) haricots verts or green beans – stem ends trimmed and cut in half
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- zest of half a lemon – peel zest with vegetable hand-peeler and cut in 1/8” julienne strips
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Step 1: Fill a medium heavy-bottomed soup pot with cold water, add the potatoes and bring to a boil at medium-high heat. Fast simmer, uncovered for 10 to 14 minutes depending on their size. The potatoes should be tender but still firm. Strain in a colander and run cold water from the tap over the potatoes until they have cooled. Cut the potatoes in 1/2” edges and set aside until ready to use.
- Step 2: Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Fill a large heavy-bottomed soup pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the salt and blanch the haricots verts for 3 to 4 minutes (depending on their size) until tender, but still crunchy. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath until cool. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Step 3: Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter is melted, add the potato slices and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Toss the potatoes and continue sautéing for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until golden. If needed repeat the process until the potatoes are golden brown on all sides. Add the lemon zest, toss well and sauté for an additional 1 minute until lemon is crispy and golden. Add the haricots verts. Toss well until the beans are warmed through, about 1 minute. Add the salt and pepper, toss again and remove from heat. Serve as a side dish.