The French aren't into undercooked vegetable; French vegetables are cooked. And haricots verts du Sud are no different. Fine French green beans are stewed well past the point of tender crisp with all the flavors of the South—olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, wine, and a few shallots for good measure—until they're soft, sweet, and punchy from the tomato and wine.
While they're good on their own—I often have them in a big heap with a warm crust torn off a big loaf of country bread—they would also go beautifully as a side for grilled salmon or a seared whole fish, or as part of a big vegetable plate. These are about as mighty and delicious as the little haricot vert can muster!
I've been making this recipe for years. Maybe I didn't publish the recipe because they're my best friend Anna's favorite. But she's always telling me to share, so enjoy!
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 small shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound haricots verts
- 2 tablespoons dry rosé or white wine
- 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes, pureed in a blender until almost smooth
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a wide high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the shallots, and sauté for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring often.
Add the garlic, and 15 second later, add the tomato paste. Cook for 15 seconds, then add the haricots verts. Toss with the tomato paste mixture, and add the wine. Cook for 1 minute, then add the cherry tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.