My mother always French-cut her green beans—meaning she would trim the ends and with a paring knife in one hand, a green bean in the other, slice the beans in half lengthwise following the center line of the bean. I was so used to seeing her do this and eating green beans cut this way, it wasn’t until I tried to cut them for myself that I realized the cutting takes time and dexterity. When I look back, it is amazing that Mom took the time in her busy life to French cut green beans, maybe it was the only way she liked them. It doesn’t happen all the time at our house, Robbie doesn’t care and would just as soon have dinner on the table faster. Try cutting your beans this way–French-cut is especially beneficial for thicker beans, and when they are mixed with with thinner ones, French-cut beans become about the same size as the thinner ones, ensuring even cooking.
1 pound green beans
¼ cup vinaigrette-style salad dressing, your choice brand or recipe
Wash and trim the beans. Slice them in half following the center line of the bean.
Preheat the grill to medium high. Steam the beans, covered, over boiling water until they barely yield to the tip of a knife, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and toss in a bowl with the vinaigrette dressing.
Arrange on an oiled vegetable grilling accessory (to prevent the skinny beans from falling through the wider grates) and grill several minutes, until the beans have color and grilled flavor.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.