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Haricot Vert (French Green Beans) and Herbs

on May 27, 2013

If I suddenly found myself in France (or any other French-speaking country), I’m confident I could find the bathroom or buy a bouquet of begonias with no trouble. Anything past that would consist of a lot of gesturing and speaking loudly (because we all know that talking louder helps people understand us better…*cough*).

So, the first time I saw “Haricot Vert,” I was a little confused. It looked like a package of small, skinny green beans. I came to find out, that’s exactly what they were; a longer, thinner French version of the American type. I was intrigued. I had to get them even though I didn’t know, exactly, how I was going to fix them. But I had a good idea of where to start and I’m sure some cookbooks could help fill in any blanks.

This is quickly becoming a favorite side dish in our house. The subtle crispness of the green beans and the burst of flavors from the mix of ingredients make it just delicious.

French Green Beans and Herbsgreen beans

  • 1 lb. French Green Beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1/4 cup Onions, small diced
  • 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Thyme, dried (use more if using fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 Lemon (cut into wedges)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the beans 2 minutes.
  2. After the 2 minutes, drain them and drop them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan.
  4. Add the onions and cook, about 2-3 minutes, until they’re translucent.
  5. Add the green beans and garlic and saute’ 2-3 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with a bit of salt (to taste) and serve with the lemon wedges (1 wedge per serving).


  • Take the time to boil the beans first. When rushed for time, I tried it without this step and it didn’t come out the same – the beans were tough. 
  • Don’t ditch the lemon. It “brightens” the dish giving it a nice, fresh taste.
  • You can use butter instead of olive oil – or a mix of both.
  • Add other herbs if you want. Try Tarragon or Parsley. Spice it up with Curry! Green beans are very “accepting” when it comes to adding flavors!

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