Haricot verts [ar-e-ko-‘ver] is French for “little tiny baby green bean”. Okay, maybe that’s not a direct translation, but you get the idea. Green beans are picked young, while they are still thin, tender, and sweet. I love ’em!
Right now I’m seeing excellent haricot verts at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. They have the small green ones as well as an immature yellow wax bean. So good you can eat them raw, you really don’t want to cook these guys too much. I’ve been blanching them in salted water for just a couple of minutes and dropping them into a shock bath (ice water to halt the cooking). After I drain them I use them in salads, like a nice Nicoise with a hunk of grilled albacore tuna on top.
The other day I quickly sautéed a couple of fistfuls of both green and yellow haricot verts with one clove of chopped garlic, some butter, and olive oil. A tiny splash of white wine and a pinch of salt completed it.
The beautiful yellow and green baby beans were superb. Fresh and tender and mild — they were delightful accompanying my steak!