May 11, 2010

Marinated Green Beans, A Spring Side Dish {Powernap}

What’s Going on Today: Settling into the new routine, embracing suburban life. Watering the new plants on our porch (!)
Naptime Goals: Prepare Green Beans in Marinade, catch up on bundle of forwarded mail we just received, attempt to figure out cable box.
Tonight’s Menu: Lemon Chicken, Marinated Greens Beans, Cous-Cous, Homemade Malted Milk Ice-Cream.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: You’ve been to one playground, you’ve been to them all.

When it comes to side dishes I love a big serving of hearty green vegetables. There are any number that I eat and I am always looking for new preparation ideas. One of my particular favorite veggies is green beans. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get enough of them, especially the slim green beans known as haricot vert. A lot of times I end up steaming them and tossing them with a tiny bit of lemon better. I also love it when they are tossed with toasted chopped walnuts and a dash of walnut oil. I’ve even fried them tempura style and they came out pretty well, even though it made a gigantic mess in my kitchen.

Last weekend we were settling into our new home and I decided it was time to try the recipe for Marinated Green Beans my mother served the last time I was home. She had gotten this recipe from her friend, Michelle, with whom she taught for almost 20 years. In this recipe the beans are blanched to maintain flavor and crunch, then tossed with a tangy mustard vinaigrette. Best of all, with the new herb pot sitting on our back porch, I had plenty of parsley on hand to give it a boost of fresh flavor.

This was the perfect side dish to prepare during my daughter’s afternoon naptime. Assembling the whole thing took less than 20 minutes and then the beans were placed, covered, in the fridge for the remainder of the afternoon. While they sat there the marinade infused the beans with the deep flavor of dijon mustard and bright red wine vinegar.  By the time we sat down for dinner and I served them alongside our lemon chicken and shallots each crunchy bean was bursting with juices. It was, perhaps, one of the easiest and most delicious sides dishes I’d prepared in a while. It is worth noting that I’ve been told this recipe works exceptionally well with asparagus. I just picked up a bunch at the farmer’s market this weekend, that’s what I’m going to try next.


Michelle’s Marinade for Green Beans (or Asparagus)


1 lb. Green Beans, washed and trimmed
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. good quality olive oil
2 T. dijon mustard
1 t. sugar
¼ t. Kosher salt
¼ t. fresh cracked pepper
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped


1. Fill a large saucepan with water and add 1 T. kosher salt. Bring to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they can easily be speared with a fork. Drain pasta water and plunge green beans into a bowl of ice water. This will stop them from cooking and help them stay crunchy.
2. In a large mixing bowl add vinegar, olive oil, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper and parsley. Whisk vigorously to make sure everything is thoroughly combined. Add drained green beans and toss well.
3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Serve room temperature, or reheated in the microwave for 1 minutes or until desired temperature.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This marinade is very versatile. It could be used for asparagus or even as a salad dressing toss with dark lettuces.

Naptime Stopwatch

Preparing these beans takes about 20 minutes, plus resting time.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter found the vinegar too strong for her, but my husband and I loved it. There was some leftover and we saved it in the fridge for another night.