Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Julia's Blanched and Butter Green Beans

from Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home

6 to 8 quarts water
3 to 4 tablespoons salt (1 1/2 teaspoon per quart)
1 1/2 pounds very fresh young green beans
1 to 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
lemon wedges or halves, for optional garnish

Bring water and salt to boil in pot over high heat. Meanwhile, wash and drain beans, snapping off stems and tails and removing any strings.

When water is boiling vigorously, dump in beans all at once. Clap on the cover and remove it the instant the water is again at the boil. Cook and boil for several minutes, then check frequently; they are done with they are cooked through but still have texture; they bend slightly when held horizontally by one end.

Unless you are serving now, transfer to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking and set the color. when chilled (about 5 mintues), scoop them out onto a clean towl.

To Serve Cold:

Dry them in the towel and refrigerate, where they will keep nicely for a day or so.

To Serve Hot:

Melt butter in large frying pan, toss in beans, and continue tossing frequently over moderate heat until well warmed through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and drops of lemon juice. Serve on hot plates or in a bowl and garnish with wedges of lemon.

Serves 6

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