Monday, November 26, 2012

Green bean, French bean!

I am starting to learn the different food names between the US and UK. Green beans (US) in UK are called french beans. French beans can be cooked many ways: steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or even baked to make a tempura.

Our friend Patrica in the Bay Area always planted a lot of different type of green beans, and they even grew wild sometimes.   I helped to pick them and really enjoyed it. I miss the Bay Area so much!

This dish I really like, the freshness and earthiness with the crunch of beans go well together. So here is one more favorite recipe for french beans:

Green beans with hazelnuts and orange
adapted from Ottolenghi cookbook


  • 14 ounces (400g) french beans
  • 2.5 ounces (70g) unskinned hazelnuts
  • 1 orange
  • 0.5 ounces (20g) chives, roughly chopped
    3 tbls olive oil
    2 tbls hazelnut oil
    coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


pre-heat oven to 355°C
trim the stalk ends of the green beans, (my mom always trim both ends, and even take off the strings,but leave one ends looks better) bring a large pot of unsalted water to boil. when boiling, blanch the green beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold. leave to drain and dry.

while the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. leave until cool enough to handle, then place them in a clean tea-towel and gently rub them to get rid of most of the skin. chop the nuts. they should be quite rough.

using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips, slice each piece of zest into very thin strips 

to assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
serve at room temperature.

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