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Tender-crisp Haricot Verts (French green beans) with Dijon Vinaigrette are a delicious and easy-fancy side dish that are perfect for serving alongside any holiday meal or Sunday supper. They can be served warm or cold, making this a great option for picnics and summer barbecues!
Want more veggies that are healthy but not boring? Be sure to try our Oven Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, Parmesan and Lemon, Easy Oven Roasted Cauliflower, and Traditional German Red Cabbage [Rotkohl]!
I have to admit that I get bored with vegetables. I know I need to eat them, and it’s not that I don’t like them really, it’s just that they aren’t as fun to make or eat as s’mores cupcakes or chewy brownie cookies. But I try to always make it a priority to serve plenty of veggies at mealtime, even when I don’t particularly feel like it.
Green beans are a frequent vegetable choice in our house because they are so tasty and easy to prepare. They can be as simple as cooking them until tender-crisp and serving with a little butter and salt. Or we will sometimes go all out and make another favorite green beans recipe with a totally different flavor profile: green beans with bacon & pine nuts.
But these haricot verts (pronounced ar-ee-ko-VER) are a tasty vegetable side dish that make a great change from regular green beans and they are an incredibly fast and easy side to make. The quick dijon vinaigrette is a simple way to dress up this green beans recipe and make them special enough for holiday dinners.
What is the difference between green beans and haricot verts?
Haricot verts are also known as French green beans. They can be distinguished from other varieties of green beans by their thinner, shorter appearance.
Haricot verts are usually about 4-inches long while the more common type of green bean sold in stores are a variety known as Blue Lake green beans, which are thicker and about 5-7 inches long.
Blue Lake green beans are the classic green beans that most of us grew up with that were sometimes called string beans, even though the tough string down the length of the bean was bred out of most commercially available green beans a long time ago. Because of the difference in size, haricot verts cook quicker than Blue Lake green beans and tend to be more tender, with a slightly more delicate flavor.
You can use both varieties of beans interchangeably in most recipes and substitute regular green beans for haricot verts if they aren’t available at the store. Just keep in mind that the thicker green beans will take extra time to cook than haricot verts.
Do you trim haricot verts?
Yes haricot verts need to be trimmed, but there is a good chance this will already be done for you. Some haricot verts come packaged in bags and have already been trimmed and prepped to cook. But if they are displayed loose in a bin, then the haricot verts will need to be trimmed before cooking.
To do this, just gather a small handful of beans with the tough stem ends all on the same side and giving them a chop just below the stem. Repeat that process with all the haricot verts and then they are ready to cook!
The opposite end of the French green beans – the haricot verts tips – are tapered and tender enough to eat without needing to be trimmed.
How to Cook Haricot Verts
To cook haricot verts, just heat a large pot of salted water to boiling, then submerge the haricot verts for about 5 minutes. They will turn bright green and soften slightly to a tender-crisp texture. Drain completely, then transfer the haricot verts to a large bowl of ice water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process so the beans don’t overcook. Drain well and pat dry.
If you prefer to serve the haricot verts hot, just reheat by adding a little oil to a saute pan and quickly sauteing the beans for a minute or two until hot again before dressing them with the quick dijon vinaigrette. Or just serve the beans cool after draining the water from the ice bath and tossing them with the dressing.
Recipes that are delicious accompanied with Haricot Verts
Really this easy green beans recipe goes wonderfully well with almost any dish you can think of, but these are some of our favorite recipes that we tend to serve them with:
- Applewood Smoked Turkey
- Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb
- Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip
- Grilled Whole Fish
- Scalloped Potatoes
- 1 pound haricot verts, rinsed and ends trimmed
- 1/2 shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (classic or whole grain)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fill a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath in a separate large bowl and set aside.
- Cook the haricots verts in the boiling water for 4 – 5 minutes, just until bright green and tender-crisp.
- Drain the beans and immediately transfer them to the ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
- To serve the beans warm, heat 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the drained beans, sauteing for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. This step isn't necessary if you plan to serve the beans cold though.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the beans in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly. Place on a platter and serve.
Recipe adapted from Saveur.