French Beans with Garlic
French beans are the classic accompaniment for lamb, but they are
equally delicious with fish and chicken. You can also serve them at
room temperature, as part of a salad buffet. Instead of the cooked
beans, try long, thin slices of steamed courgettes, sauteed with the
625 g small green beans, topped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black
Bring a large saucepan of water to the
boil. Add the beans, return to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain
and refresh under cold running water. Set aside.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan.
Add the garlic, beans and salt and cook over high heat for 1 minute,
stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice,
if using. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.
Variation Flageolet beans are the other
traditional partner for lamb. Generally, dried beans taste better if
cooked from scratch, but this does require advance planning. Happily,
flageolets are the exception, especially if you can find imported
French flageolets in jars, not cans.
For mixed beans to serve with lamb (for
four), halve the quantity of green beans and add a 400 g jar of drained
flageolet beans to the cooked green beans when frying with the garlic.
Instead of lemon juice, stir in 3-4 tablespoons creme fraiche just