Tuesday, February 1, 2011

French Cut Green Beans with Hazelnut Butter

Finding a sumptuous side dish is not always easy.  Finding one that is quick, easy, delicious, and can be made ahead nearly impossible.  This recipe is the exception.  Every time I prepare these I get compliments, often from people who don't care for hazelnuts.  Toasting them and chopping them as finely as possible imparts a nutty flavor without an overpowering hazelnut taste, and adds a little extra crunch to the beans.

These can be made with green beans that have not been French cut (you'll need to cook them longer in this case -- 6 to 8 minutes), but I strongly suggest you give this little French cutting tool a try.  I found mine at the Viking store, but it is available from Amazon as well (click on image directly below to go to the page).  Never, I beg you, used canned or (horrors!) frozen green beans.  This is so quick and easy, not to mention actually fun to do.
Norpro French Bean Slicer
Norpro French Bean Slicer

Snip the tip off of the fresh green bean using the cutting blade at the end.
Pull the green bean through the cutting blades to French cut.
It took me less than five minutes to French cut this entire pile of green beans.
Slice beans in half, or they'll be too unwieldy on the plate.
Combine first six ingredients in a small bowl.
Finely chop toasted hazelnuts, add to bowl, and stir together to make hazelnut butter.
Top cooked green beans with butter and allow it to melt into them.

French Cut Green Beans with Hazelnut Butter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 lb green beans, trimmed

Stir together butter, shallot, zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Add hazelnuts and stir until combined well.  Set aside.

Wash fresh greens beans, pat dry with a paper towel, snip off ends, and run through the green bean Frenching tool.  Cut French-cut beans in half.  Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil and drop in green beans.  When water has returned to boiling, cook for 3-5 minutes until beans are tender.
Drain beans in a colander, then return hot beans to pot and toss with hazelnut butter.

This recipe can be made ahead.  You can blanch the green beans and refrigerate for up to two days.  The hazelnut butter can be made ahead as well and kept similarly for two days.

Makes 2 ample portions

This is linked to:

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays


Ann said...

These look wonderful. I love green beans. I'm bookmarking this recipe.

Anonymous said...

That looks terrific. I make mine with almonds usually and my hubby LOVES it and he really loves the french cut green beans but... *confession* I use the frozen ones, hehe. Neat little tool you have. I think the hazelnuts would be divine.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a neat tool! These beans sound wonderful with the hazelnut butter.

Christy said...

What a fun little gadget! I always wondered how people did that! Seemed way to tedious to do by hand. I love that you can get this ready a couple days ahead - it would be perfect for a holiday dish! I am late but thanks for linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop!

Lynn said...

Wow, doesn't this sound great! I just bought green (and yellow) bean seeds this weekend for the garden, can't wait:@) Your Frenching tool looks like fun, thanks so much for sharing it with the Gadget Party:@) Happy Valentine's Day Pattie!

Unknown said...

Your beans look devine!! I have one of those nifty frenchers!! Perfect for canning beans :)


Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

This looks and sounds so tasty!!! What a cute device...
Have a beautiful week!!!

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

I am planning on french cut green beans with pine nuts tomorrow night (Valentine's Dinner) and this little gadget would really help! Your recipe looks good too--we love green beans here. Linda :)

Jacqueline said...

Another gadget that I haven't seen before! This is a handy little guy and I believe you that it went quickly. Looks so yummy too.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the person who designed this had spent hours dreaming it up while slicing beans or from watching his mother slice the beans and would rather dream of a device than help her.
(and I bet a woman had a lot to say about the final design.)

Kathleen said...

Looks good, and what a handy tool. I don't know how I lived without my cherry pitter!

Scribbler said...

This looks quite fabulous. Now do you have a shortcut for the hazelnuts? I have some in the freezer.