When I think of green beans, my mind snaps to my summers in France as a little girl. All through the season, my mother would send me out to the garden to pluck the crunchy, tender pods and bring them to her kitchen, where she would whip up a simply scrumptious meal for our family.
The flavor of green beans is so quintessentially végétal, like eating the earth itself. And there are so many ways to prepare them: cooked lightly and tossed into a bright summer salad, baked into a toasty warm, melt- in-your-mouth casserole, pickled in a savory brine with garlic and herbs for a year-round snack. And you can blanch and freeze them when they’re in season and eat them even in the heart of winter.
These days I eat green beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My frittata recipe is a perfect brunch food, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins—and, of course, flavor. Served with a salad, the frittata makes for a filling and complete meal. It is also a wonderful picnic food, or a convenient and nutritious on-the-go meal. I like to bring it with me on airplanes—what a nice break from the soggy overpriced stuff you get on most flights.
My other go-to green bean recipe, à la Provençale, is a spin on a traditional recipe from the south of France, bringing together the punchy flavor of tomatoes, onion and garlic, olives, and fresh herbs. The result is a dish bursting with Mediterranean taste. Just thinking about it makes my taste buds tingle! À votre santé et bon appétit.
Frittata with green beans, asparagus, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, and basil
(150 g) green beans
(100 g) green asparagus tips tablespoons olive oil
medium shallot, finely chopped
garlic cloves, finely minced
sundried tomatoes in olive oil, finely diced cherry tomatoes, halved
large eggs, beaten
tablespoons crème fraîche
(60 g) whole milk sheep feta cheese, crumbled
8 to 10 leaves basil, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Blanch the green beans and asparagus for 4 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water. Strain and transfer to an ice water bath; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a 10-inch skillet (that can go in the oven), heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook without browning for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the green beans, asparagus, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring. Transfer to a bowl.
Stir the crème fraîche into the eggs. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in the skillet and add the egg mixture.
Top with the vegetables and add the crumbles of feta cheese and fresh herbs. Season with pepper.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the stove. Transfer to the oven and finish cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the frittata is slightly puffed and the eggs are cooked through.