When time gets tight while cooking dinner, it’s tempting to just microwave a bag of frozen vegetables. We wanted to find a fresh alternative that would be hardy enough to be prepared a day or two ahead of time, requiring only minimal prep work on serving day. Green beans worked perfectly: They held their flavor and texture when blanched (cooked until crisp-tender in rapidly boiling salted water and then chilled in ice water to cool them instantly). They also reheated well in the microwave, eliminating the need to watch the stove at serving time. As for flavoring, tasters liked a slightly sharp mustard vinaigrette, which brought out the best in the beans without overshadowing their mild flavor. The vinaigrette held nicely in the fridge and needed only to be brought to room temperature before being tossed with the beans.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot over high heat. Fill large bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Add beans and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Drain beans, then transfer immediately to ice water. Let beans cool completely, about 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- Whisk mustard, vinegar, shallot, garlic, thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil.
- Add beans to vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.