FRENCH BEANS WITH PARMESAN CHEESE (for four)
1 pound French beans, washed and drained, ends snapped off
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (more to taste)
- Drop the beans into rapidly boiling, salted water. Cover briefly, to bring the water quickly back to a boil, then immediately remove the cover. Boil uncovered until the beans are just cooked through but retain a slight crunch of texture –4 to 5 minutes. Test by eating several. Drain the beans immediately when they are done and run them under cold water or plunge into a basin filled with ice cubes and water. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
- Just before serving, turn the beans into a large skillet and toss over moderately high heat for a moment to evaporate any excess moisture. Then toss them with a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper and the butter. Finish it off with a sprinkling of Parmesan and serve immediately.