Michelle Palmer: Everyone Loves a Good Green Bean (Recipe)


Michelle Palmer’s recipe is for Grandma’s French Green Beans.

Everyone loves a good green bean. I wrote about this a few years ago and had some comments about the quality of green beans from my French grandmother. For those who did not understand it 6 years ago …
Green beans, also known as snap beans or green beans, are the most popular edible pod beans in the United States. The lima bean is the top-selling nut bean in the United States.
Green beans originated in Peru and spread to South and Central America through migrating Indian tribes. Green beans, French for “green beans” (also known as green beans, French green beans, French fillet beans or fine beans (British English)) is a variety of green beans that are longer, thinner, crispier and more tender than “standard” green beans. Which are not always available! It is different from the bean, which is sold as a dried seed.
Many, but not all, bean pods contain a “string,” a tough, fibrous thread that runs the length of the pod. This is often removed before cooking, or can be made edible by cutting the pod into short segments. The first “cordless” bean was selected in 1894 by Calvin Keeney.
My French grandmother always made her green beans for various parties and her Hassel potatoes. The two childhood foods on this side of the family were my favorite. My mother was the first born in the United States. My grandparents came via Ellis Island and became US citizens. They were both fluent in many languages, including English. Me speaking very little French now.
Now I carry on the tradition and cook them for the holidays too and think about the smell of the food cooking in the house for as far as I can remember. Also, I remember watching the spit spin around with the leg of lamb cooking with the drip underneath trying to catch the drips to make the sauce. I can almost smell it now coming from the barbecue building in Temple City, CA.
This recipe that I’m going to share today comes from my French grandmother Jeanne Alice Louise Pinon, from Lyon, France, my mom’s mom. I’ve been making these green beans for at least 48 years. It’s a side dish that goes with almost anything. Give them a try, I bet they will become one of the most requested dishes by your family and friends. Everyone loves a good French green bean!
Grandmother’s green bean

1 pound of fresh green beans, crispy and trimmed
1 medium julienne of sweet onion
3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound peppered bacon, ½ inch slices
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh spring water
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

Spread in a 10-inch sauté pan. Sprinkle the onion, bacon, garlic first, then a layer of green beans, a little black pepper and kosher salt. Then onion, bacon, garlic, then a layer of green beans, lightly black pepper and kosher salt. Finished with onion, bacon, garlic, black pepper and kosher salt. Sprinkle butter all around. Pour ½ cup of fresh spring water into the pot. Cover, cook over medium heat until beans are al’dente.
Michelle Palmer is the owner of Absolutely Michelle’s Chef-for-Hire.


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