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I love combining flavors and items from the vegetable drawer that you may not have planned on putting together but somehow come together beautifully and easily. Last night’s green beans with leeks was one of those dishes where I had fresh green beans (that needed to be used immediately), leftover leeks from a vegetable soup made earlier in the week and then some other ingredients to punch up the flavor.

April and May 2009 097

 Over the summer I hope use my own green beans from the garden my family and I planted but for now I’ll just have to go with the ones purchased at the grocery store.  When selecting beans, many people prefer to smaller, thinner version known as haricots verts.  Haricots Verts is French for green bean and generally speaking are a smaller, pencil-thin bean.  There are also no strings to remove.  They tend to be more expensive in your grocery store.  But you could certainly grow your own.

Green Beans with Leeks


1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 leeks (white and light green parts), cut in half lengthwise then again lengthwise; chop into 1/4-inch thick quarter slices

1 tbsp coarse grain mustard or Dijon mustard

couple of splashes of white wine vinegar

zest of small lemon

Kosher salt and frehly ground black pepper


Bring pot of liberally salted water to a boil.  Cook green beans in boiling water approximately 6 minutes.  Drain beans and place into ice water bath to stop cooking. 

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat.  Add chopped leaks and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and zest.  Blend ingredients.  Add green beans to bowl and toss.  Add salt and pepper.  Taste.  Adjust seasonings, if needed.

Yield:  4 servings

Kitchen Note:  This dish is fantastic served at room temperature.