Jan wanted a simple dinner of brats and potatoes. Eilene wanted more vegetables. I tried to please them both.
I am always trying new ways to spice up plain green beans. When Jan was in Sonoma I asked her to buy some chervil. This is an herb that is rarely sold separately in most stores. It is usually mixed in with the French blend fines herbes.
However, just throwing a bit of herbs onto the beans is not my style. I had a Mandarin orange on the counter. I had used a slice of its peel in a Miso soup and I needed to use up the rest of it. A bit of garlic, onion, pepper and salt to enhance the flavors, some red bell pepper for the color, and a splash of vinegar for the brightness, now I have a vegetable side dish.
Karl’s Chervil Green Beans with Mandarin Orange
1 lb. blue lake green beans
¼ cup sweet onion
¼ cup red bell pepper
1 Mandarin orange
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tsp. Raspberry balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. chervil
¼ tsp. black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
1. Trim green beans and cut them in half (into about 2-3 inch pieces).
2. Steam green beans for three minutes.
Tip: You want them close to tender crisp, but not completely cooked.
3. Shock the beans in cold water.
Tip: This prevents the beans from over cooking.
4. Cut the onion into slices and then cut the slices into thirds and set aside.
Tip: You are trying to cut the onions into large matchsticks close to the same size as the green beans.
5. Cut the red pepper large matchsticks and set them aside.
6. Segment the orange and cut the segments in half. Remove any pips and set aside.
7. Add the olive oil to a sauté pan, over high heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about three minutes.
8. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more, until fragrant.
9. Add the green beans, vinegar, chervil, red pepper, Mandarin orange, and black pepper to the pan and continue gently sautéing for two more minutes.
Tip: You are not trying to cook the red peppers and oranges, you are only trying to warm them through. Too much stirring at this will mash the orange segments, toss the vegetables gently.
10. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, toss one last time and serve.