In The Art of Cookery, Hannah Glasse wrote: "Where there is a great Variety of Dishes and a large Table to cover, so there must be a Variety of Names for them; and it matters not whether they be call'd by a French, Dutch or English Name, for they are good, and done with as little Experience as the Dish will allow of." Like many of her contemporaries, Glasse added the names of European countries to certain dishes, perhaps intending to lend them a note of sophistication.

George Washington ordered vegetable seeds of varying kinds from his agents in London, bean seeds among them. He noted in his diary on March 31, 1787, that he was planting twenty acres in carrots and other vegetables, "if Carrot Seed can be obtained."

The recipe below is for green beans, but you can prepare carrots in the same manner. Simply substitute the same weight of carrots for the beans. Peel the carrots, slice them thinly, and boil for about 15 minutes, or until they are just tender.

This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound young green beans or haricots verts, trimmed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Directions

    1. Put the beans in a saucepan. Add 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    2. Add the salt, pepper, shallots, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of the parsley. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the beans are crisp-tender. Immediately remove from the heat, and drain thoroughly. Return the beans to the pan, and add the butter. 
    3. Arrange the beans in a serving dish, and garnish with the remaining minced parsley.

    Serves 6 to 8

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