Pascal’s green beans
A night with Pascal
Thanks to my friends Cindy and Ron, I had the good fortune of being included in a cooking class with Pascal Olhats in Newport Beach. We had the pleasure of cooking in Pascal's Epicerie kitchen. The theme for the night was "What to make when you didn't plan to cook." We cooked an amazing number of quick simple dishes that evening, all accompanied by fabulous wines. The one item Cindy requested, and it was her birthday after all, was Pascal's green beans. These tasty treats are regularly offered at Pascal's Epicerie. The beans are served at room temperature making them equally practical for a home meal, a picnic or a pot luck.
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- If you can find them, use Chinese long beans. The advantage of the Chinese beans is they do not have strings. If not, fresh green beans will do, but you may have to string them.
- Be generous when you salt the water, use a couple big pinches. By salting the water, you will need less salt in the dressing. And remember you don't actually consume all the salt you put in the water, just what is retained by the bean. Most of the salt goes down the drain.
- Pascal makes the vinaigrette in a large bowl, big enough to hold all the beans. The beans are tossed in the dressing and then removed to their serving platter. This prevents over-dressing the beans and any extra vinaigrette can be reused for another purpose, or to make more beans again tomorrow night!
- Make extra, because these beans are great the next day.
- ¼ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
- 1.5 pounds of Chinese long beans or green beans, sliced in 1.5 inch pieces
- 2 thin slices red onion
- 2 T Spanish sherry vinegar (Jerez vinegar)
- 6 T olive oil
- Kosher salt
- White pepper
- Toast the almonds in a hot dry pan over medium high heat. Shake frequently taking care they do not burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the beans and boil for 5 minutes. While the beans are cooking prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Drain the cooked beans and immediately immerse them in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove the beans from the ice bath and spread on a kitchen towel to dry. Make sure beans are as dry as possible before you toss them with the vinaigrette.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all the beans, pour in vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil to create an emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add onions, beans, almonds and toss. Remove beans with tongs to serving bowl. Reserve any remaining dressing for another use.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH