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What are Haricot Vert Beans?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 June 2014
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Haricot vert beans are elongated green beans which are widely cultivated in France. Some consumers call them “French beans” or “French green beans” to differentiate them from other varieties of green beans. When well cultivated, they can be a superior green bean, ideal for a wide range of recipes and side dishes. Some markets sell haricot vert beans, and they can also be grown at home, if you have the space for a garden.

Superficially, haricot vert beans can closely resemble regular green beans. However, they are a bit more slender and long than regular green beans, and they are also stringless. When lightly cooked, haricot verts are tender, crispy, and very tasty, with a hint of sweetness. Many cooks like to briefly blanch them and add them to salads and other dishes, and they can also be fried or roasted to make rich side dishes which are packed with an intense springy flavor.

Like other green beans, haricot vert beans are merely the unripe fruits of the bean plant. They are green because they have not fully matured, and they will later grow into haricot beans, small white beans which are used in a soups, chili, and other bean dishes. The best haricot vert beans will be picked when they are still very young and tender, before the pod has started to turn woody and inedible, and the whole of the bean except for the stem is edible.

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When selecting haricot vert beans in the store, look for specimens which are evenly colored, without signs of yellowing or mold. They should also be firm and smooth to the touch, without any slime or soft spots. Keep the beans wrapped in a paper bag for up to four days under refrigeration, and wash them before use. When you do use the beans, trim the tips off and remember to cook them lightly so that they stay crispy.

Beans are quite easy to grow in a home garden, as long as you have space for a bean trellis. Many garden supply stores sell packets of haricot beans for sale, and you can use the plants to produce haricot verts as well as dried haricot beans. Plant the beans in a sunny space with a trellis, wall, or stake to grow on. Water the beans regularly, and keep growth off the ground so that the plants will not mold or rot. When the haricots verts emerge, harvest them and use as quickly as possible for a fresh taste. You can also allow the beans to mature and dry on the plant if you want dried beans for future use.

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StarJo
Post 6

I use haricot vert beans to make my green bean casserole. It’s a big hit on Thanksgiving day, but I like to make it several times throughout the year, because I crave it.

In addition to the beans, I use some cream of chicken soup, some french fried onions, a little bit of soy sauce, and some milk. Haricot vert beans are the best kind to use in this casserole because of their unique flavor. They don’t let the other ingredients take over.

This is a super easy casserole to make, and any lover of haricot vert beans should try it. The saltiness of the other ingredients contrasts the sweetness of the beans, and because of this, they are perfect for each other.

seag47
Post 5

I like adding these beans to my spinach salad. All that greenery is so intense, and it is so full of nutrients, too.

I love eating haricot vert beans with red wine viniagrette. This sweet dressing has a tart kick that intensifies the flavor of whatever you put it on, and it does good things with the beans and the spinach.

Sometimes, I’ll even throw in some broccoli. My coworkers make fun of me for my triple-green salad, but they have no idea how healthy it makes me feel. I feel satisfied but never overstuffed after eating it.

OeKc05
Post 4

@backdraft - Green beans and bacon are delicious together. That’s why so many Southern cooks use bacon grease to flavor their green beans.

Haricot vert beans are especially delicious with bacon. I think this is because they have a hint of sweetness. I’ve never tried throwing garlic into the mix, but that would be good.

I usually cook my bacon and beans separately and then just add a little of the bacon grease to the beans. I love eating a BLT with my beans on the side, so it’s good to have the meat and the beans in separate pots.

shell4life
Post 3

I love cooking fresh haricot vert beans in a skillet with a couple of other vegetables to get a unique garden flavor. These beans taste great with zucchini and squash, which I cut into little circles before sauteeing with the beans.

I first heat up some olive oil on low with some minced garlic. Then, I add the vegetables and cook them until they are slightly tender but not mushy.

I add some salt and pepper during the last few minutes of cooking, so that it doesn’t have a chance to cook out. This is one of my favorite fresh veggie dishes, and since I grow zucchini and squash in my own garden, all I have to buy for this dish is the haricot vert beans.

backdraft
Post 2

My favorite haricot vert recipe combines the beans, bacon and lots of garlic. It is simple, decadent and delicious. But it is only good when the beans are in season and of course they have to be fresh, never frozen.

summing
Post 1

I have been growing haricot vert green beans in my backyard for years. They are hard to find at the store and when you do find them the quality is usually pretty low. But they are easy to grow and they produce a good yield throughout the season.

You can find the seeds at most garden stores or online and you grow them pretty much as you would any kind of bean. They cannot be grown in all climates but most are hospitable.

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