For me, spring is symbolic of a fresh start--even more so than January 1st. Tender blades of grass peaking up through wasted brush. Delicate, yet determined sprouts of tulips and daffodils unearthing themselves. Tiny lime green buds on the tree outside my window; a promise of ethereal blushed dogwood blossoms. Everywhere I look I am reminded of new beginnings and rebirth.
Spring is a time to renew your outlook and reinvent yourself. A time to turn the soil in our lives, and plant seeds of new things to come. A time for change. Life is all about change, those that refuse to adapt, will surely miss out on opportunity...and fun!
When spring arrives we often change our schedule to spend more time outside with our family, change our exercise plan to get in shape for summer, change our eating habits from cozy winter foods to lighter, picnic-style meals. In the spring, I like to eat things that are symbolic of "new" and "fresh". Maybe that's silly--but I don't care--it's not the only silly thing I do!
This mix of infant new potatoes and haricot vert is ideal for your Easter table or a backyard meal. Haricot Vert, pronounced ah-ree-koh verh, is french for green beans. Haricot Vert are thin tender green beans with soft skins. The potatoes I used are tiny, ranging from the size of small grapes to dates. They have a slightly green tint and papery skins. The combination of the two, gives this dish a feeling of youth...anything to get that feeling back!
If you can't find them at your grocery store, these are great items to look for at your local farmer's market!
Haricot Vert, Shallots, and Micro Taters
1 ½ lbs. haricot vert
1 lb. teeny-weeny new potatoes
2 shallots, chopped
3-4 thick slices of bacon, chopped
1 Tb. good quality balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Set a large pot of salted water over high heat, and bring to a boil. Trim the ends of the green beans. Once the water is boiling, blanch the beans for 1-2 minutes, until the color is bright and the skins are softer. Remove the beans with a skimmer.
Next, add the micro taters to the boiling water. Par-boil (partially cook) for 4-5 minutes. Remove the potatoes and pour out the water.
Using the same pot, sizzle the bacon over medium heat, until it is almost cooked. Then add the shallots. Sauté another 2-3 minutes.
Add the potatoes and salt and pepper well. Sauté 2-3 more minutes before adding the beans.
Once the beans are in the pot, stir and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add a little oil if the veggies are sticking. When the beans are warmed through and the potatoes are fully cooked, taste for salt and pepper, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve warm. Serve 4-6.