Seasonal vegetables are at last piled high in the markets now–everything is late this year–and haricot verts [green beans] are perennial favorites here.
Alice, our generous French neighbour, delivered a bagful, freshly picked this morning from her pottage. We’ll eat them today unadorned, apart from a little salt and a swirl of the best olive oil we have.
This is a handy alternative.
Our friend, Jane, made these for us recently and reminded me that the recipe is based on one in the little vegetable book from the River Café collection.
The beans are lightly coated with an anchovy and caper sauce with sweet cherry tomato quarters and basil added. If you are not keen on anchovies, leave them out–it’s still worth doing.
We had them as a starter last night.
1lb/450gms green beans–the connecting top nipped off
8 anchovy fillets–snipped into bits with a pair of scissors
1 tbsp capers–fat ones are best
4 tblsp olive oil + extra if needed
juice of a lemon
handful nicoise olives–stoned
handful ripe cherry tomatoes–carefully quartered; watch out for your fingers!
basil leaves to scatter
- Cook the beans in plenty of salted water to just tender.
- Drain them, put them in a mixing bowl and coat them with two tablespoons of olive oil (best you have available).
- In another bowl combine the lemon juice and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Snip in the anchovy fillets and add the capers and the stoned olives.
- Season with black pepper and salt–bearing in mind the saltiness of the anchovies and olives.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil, if needed.
- Spoon this sauce over the beans and mix.
- Carefully transfer the beans to a favourite serving plate and scatter over the tomatoes and basil.