Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Would You Bring a Side? Green Beans, Mushrooms, and Jasmine Rice with Tarragon and Mustard Vinaigrette

When it's green bean time, I often make a green bean salad with mustard vinaigrette.  Sometimes it has tomatoes and sometimes mushrooms or potatoes.  I'm fond of one-dish sides and am always looking for dishes easily served alongside a chop or a piece of grilled chicken or fish. 

When we're having friends for dinner, the one-dish side simply makes sense--particularly if it's something that can be finished right before they arrive and left at room temperature on the table.  All that's left is to open a bottle of wine, set out some nuts or other nibbles, and grill.  In other words, I have the time to pay attention to people instead of food.  All this assumes I've set the table earlier in the day, gotten the coffee pot set up, and thought of something for dessert.

I made this version of the beans with rice last Saturday night to fill out a meal that included a starter of bread sticks, olives, and nuts and a main dish of grilled, barbequed pork chops. Our friends arrived with a beautiful summer fruit salad, which immediately was pegged as dessert.

An all-in-one dish is also a boon if you're cooking for one; it's easier to make something and have it for a couple of days or pack it up for a vegetarian lunch than it is to cook a tiny bit of this and that each day.  Here, I give you a recipe for six very generous helpings, but it's easily divided in half if need be.  Try this:

green beans, mushrooms and jasmine rice with mustard-tarragon vinaigrette

I like these easy-cook packages of haricots verts.  They come in 1# and 2# packages.

  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice, prepared as directed on package
  • 1# thin green beans (haricots verts)
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, and crushed red pepper
  • 2T fresh tarragon, minced (or 2t dried tarragon)
  • Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Set hot rice aside, covered; it will stay hot about a half hour.  In the meantime, cook the beans in the package (with one corner clipped) in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.  Carefully remove from the oven and drain briefly.  (You can also cook a pound of regular beans in a pot of water, though you might need a bit more time for the them to cook to a tender-crisp depending on their size and age.)   

While the beans cook, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with the tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the sliced mushrooms and let them cook a couple of minutes until they're golden brown.  Stir to turn, season with pepper, and cook an additional two minutes or so until cooked thoroughly. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt.

To a large bowl, add the warm rice and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Toss well.  Add green beans and mushrooms and season them salt and pepper; toss again.  Stir in tarragon.  Drizzle with mustard vinaigrette, mix well.  If the dish seems dry, drizzle with a bit more olive oil and toss again.  Taste and re-season if needed.  Pour out onto a serving platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Optional:  You could dress this up with a garnish of cherry tomatoes.

Mustard Vinaigrette:  To a large, deep bowl, add 2T good quality white wine vinegar, 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon-style mustard,  2 minced cloves of garlic, a drop or two of hot sauce,  and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Whisk together well.  Whisk in 4T olive oil, 1 T at a time, until each tablespoon is well incorporated and the vinaigrette is thickened.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

P.S. In Colorado Springs last night, we had the second huge storm in a day.  There are roads closed from mudslides and the thunder was, at times, scary.  While we're always desperate for rain here, with it comes danger, as always.  After the first round of rain, Dave snapped the rainbow picture below off the back deck (east--facing the city):


  Today on More Time at the Table:  Homemade Vanilla
                                            with Blueberry-Lemon Sauce


  1. I love this idea! So much better than 3 bean salad. ;) And I'm always looking for an easy side dish. This one is on the to-make list!

  2. It's also good with roasted or fried potatoes in place of the rice.


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