October 4, 2018

Anne Willan’s “Burnt” Beans

Recipe: Anne Willan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

“When I worked for Anne at École de Cuisine La Varenne, this dish was one of the first I had to learn. Anne served this family favorite once a week with roast chicken. The exact opposite of al dente — try downright confit — these beans taste of decadence.” — Laura Calder


  • 4 beans, trimmed
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest, if desired


Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Blanch Beans

  1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add beans and cook until tender but still firm, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool, then drain again. Spread beans out on baking pan and pat dry.

Cook Beans

  1. In large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. (Use a wok, if you have one.) Add beans and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  2. Cook on medium heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until beans are soft and start to caramelize, about 45 minutes. You’ll know the beans are done when they are tender and start to darken. Season to taste.
  3. Remove from heat and platter. If desired, sprinkle with lemon zest.

Stacey Brandford


House & Home October 2017


Prop styling by Morgan Michener and Lauren Petroff