Sunday 31 March 2013

Good Wishes for Easter + Green Beans with Mint, Lemon and Garlic Emulsion and Fleur de Sel

Springtime is upon us! Something that  finally seems clear as rain trickles down the roof, slowly eating away at the three foot snow banks in front of our house. Up here in not so picturesque St-Lazare the snow shall soon give way to torrents of water, mud and general grossness. Thankfully grass, flowers and blossoms will soon be blooming forth and letting us forget the cold of winter and the smelly "in-between" period.Although it can't quite get here fast enough we know that t-shirt weather is on the way. One sure sign of this? Easter!

Be it Easter,  Passover or whatever other festival your faith (or lack thereof) celebrates, spring is a period of rebirth so be happy, be festive, grab your friends and family close and get your party on (dinner party that is!).

In case you haven't had your little family (or friend!) Easter get together yet, Shannon came up with little place settings. All you need are some flowers (fake or not), eggs, a bit of dye, some moss and stamps or a marker and these little critters can be assembled in a jiffy! They make for a neat little outlet through which you can release your inner Martha Stewart!

Oh wait, I promised you a green bean salad didn't I? I guess I should give that to you instead of ranting about pretty eggs, sun and funny smells! You'll have to excuse me though...I didn't notice my camera's settings were all wrong when I took quick pictures, the bean salad was the only one to make it out semi-nice!

Green Beans with Mint, Lemon and Garlic Emulsion and Fleur de Sel

This recipe is best if you can let the emulsion sit for a bit and really get those flavours out there! Otherwise it's quick to assemble and much adored, it didn't even last the first go around the table!

-1 Package of green beans (I'm so sorry I didn't weigh them, look at the photo? I'd say 3-4 big handfuls)
-2-3 Large sprigs of fresh mint
-3 1/2 tbsp. Good olive oil
-Zest of one lemon
-Fresh lemon juice to taste (I used a bit less than half a lemon)
-1 Large clove of garlic
-2-3 hefty pinches of fleur de sel (Fleur de sel is a special hand harvested flake salt collected from salt marshes, mine is from Guérande, in France. It is expensive but totally worth it! If you don't have access to it, you can remove it from the recipe but it really is worth it!)

1) Zest lemon and juice half of it. Rinse mint, prepare beans and remove the papery skin from the garlic.
2) Blend mint, garlic and zest in a small food processor adding oil gently between pulses.
3) Let sit for a few hours if possible
4) Steam beans until they reach desired consistency (everyone likes them differently! I like them crunchy)
5) Add lemon to mixture mix vigorously and coat beans
6) Dust with fleur de sel and serve hot!

Bread is good for scooping up the emulsion...or just for eating with fresh butter...

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