7/08/2005

Greens! Green Beans. Eat your Green Beans!

Great season for fresh green beans. Of course I get those lovely Haricots Verts or French Green beans, thin, crisp, very, very green.

Green bean salads are popular here in the summertime. Served warmed or chilled, it's a refreshing change from regular salad greens when you use green beans as the base for the salad.

Popular additions to green bean salads in France? Lardons : French cut bacon-in little squares, finely chopped shallots, fresh tarragon, Dijon mustard, slivered almonds, feta cheese and garlic. Lots of it too!

Last night, I sautéed some lardons with some leftover ground beef (excellent substitute); I steamed the green beans to tender then tossed with these items: feta cheese, fresh tarragon, sautéed meat, croutons, balsamic fig vinegar and pumpkin seed oil (try sesame as a substitute).

We ate it as a main course salad. I had enough for leftovers and finished off dinner with a typical cheese platter and fresh, crusty bagutette.

A lazy summer evening where I didn't want to cook. Cooking time total is approximately 15 minutes depending on how tender you like your beans.

Here are the portions: (feeds 4 main course or 6 side salads)
This is a very Kid Friendly Recipe!

2 lb. frozen green beans (fresh can be substituted but will lengthen cooking time)
1 cup ground beef, turkey or chunks of ham
2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
2 tablspoons fig flavored balsamic vinegar
1 cup croutons, garlic flavored if possible
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Place beans in steamer and steam for 15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, sauté ground meat or ham; when thoroughly cooked, toss with balsamic vinegar. Set aside and keep warm.

When beans are cooked, drain and transfer to large salad bowl; drizzle with olive oil; top with fresh tarragon; crumble in feta; add croutons and cooked meat and toss.

That's it! Mmm... lunchtime for me now, and guess what I'll be finishing off? ha!

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