Honey creole mustard green beans

And then that moment of summer arrives when the green beans are piled so high at the markets, and being sold at such a low price, that you feel like you’d be a fool not to pick up a pound or two or five. I mean they are practically giving them away for free. (And if you have a garden, then you may be trying to give away a pound or two or five.)

So you bring home that hill — or mountain — of green beans, and you have to figure out what to do with them.

Sauteing some green beans in a bit of olive oil and butter and then finishing them off by adding some water or broth to the pan and steaming them — that’s the way I go most of the time. Quite delicious, with a nice dusting of salt and pepper, and they go with everything. After a few days though, my family starts to look at me with flickers of boredom in their eyes. And I still have mountains of beans to climb.

That’s where bean salads come into play. A great late-summer, early-fall way to put those beans to use. Not to mention bean salads are portable, picnic-worthy and can be made ahead of time.

This one is so simple — really just beans with a vinaigrette. A day in the fridge will deepen the flavor.

If you wanted to go for a warm bean salad, skip the ice-water bath and cook the beans for about 5 minutes until still crisp tender. Drain and toss the warm beans with the vinaigrette, then let cool slightly. The beans will continue to soften a bit as they cool in the vinaigrette, so make sure to drain them before they are too tender.

Creole mustard is a coarse, stone-ground mustard, zippy and with a nice, nubby texture. Once this ingredient becomes part of your pantry, it will never NOT be there. Any Louisianan will tell you, don’t you dare make a remoulade sauce without it. But if you wanted to use a coarse Dijon, that will also work just fine (just don’t shoot your mouth off about it down South).

Honey creole mustard green beans

Servings: 4 to 6

Start to finish: 15 minutes

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Creole mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium-size bowl with ice water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well, and plunge them into the bowl of ice water. Drain when they have cooled.

While the beans are cooking, in a large serving bowl, whisk together the honey, Creole mustard, vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Toss the cooled green beans in the dressing, taste and adjust seasonings as needed and serve at room temperature.

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