How Do I Choose The Best Haricot Vert Beans?

Hericot verts are similar to green beans consumed in the United States, but are longer and thinner.

Haricot vert beans, also known as fillet beans, are a type of long, thin green beans originating in France. This type of beans can be hard to find in conventional supermarkets outside of France, but they are sometimes sold in specialty stores and farmers’ markets. Similar to conventional green beans, these vegetables should be bright green, narrow in diameter and crispy in texture, without any dark spots, rust, or oiliness. Cooking green beans works very similarly to cooking other green beans, and you can use these French beans in salads, amandine dishes, and stir-fries, but be careful not to overcook them.

Steamed green beans can be a good addition to fresh green salads.

Sometimes sold as French pods or French pods, haricot vert beans are slightly longer and thinner than conventional North American and UK varieties. Some seed catalogs refer to these beans as “fillet” types. When well cooked, these beans are crispy yet tender, with a delicate yet distinctive flavor. You can substitute regular green beans in some recipes, but the result will not taste the same.

You can find French beans in supermarkets that offer a wide variety of products, in kiosks or in some farmers markets. This type of beans can cost a little more than a regular green bean. Conventional green beans cut in an inclined position can sometimes be called French beans, but it is not the same as green beans.

The ideal bean is 15 to 20 cm long and about 0.5 cm in diameter, as large bean beans are usually woody and hard. The beans should be completely bright green with no signs of mold, rust or mildew. Avoid beans with soft spots or dark areas, as they are often overcooked and will produce an unpleasant flavor and texture. If your beans are a little older than they should be, consider using them in a soup or stew, where their inferior quality will be harder to notice.

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Cooking haricot vert beans requires a little more care compared to cooking thicker varieties, but it’s essentially the same. These beans cook well when steamed, fried, or lightly boiled. They should never be cooked for long periods of time, as they easily become doughy and unpalatable. Pair these French green beans with onions, garlic, and butter, or consider tomatoes, almonds, or fresh salad greens. These flavors provide an interesting counterpoint to the flavor of the beans and keep the dish from becoming boring.

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