My Favorite Green Beans

Many years ago, I purchased a fairly obscure cookbook written by an unknown chef, at least to me. Sunshine Cuisine was published in 1994.

The book cover states that chef Jean-Pierre Brehier “combines the taste memories of his Provençal childhood (born in Aix-en-Provence) with the Florida-Caribbean influences that weave their way throughout his professional career.”

Also from the book flap, “Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier has trained in some of the best restaurants in the south of France… came to Florida in 1973 and in 1976 became chef-proprietor of the award-winning restaurant The Left Bank in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.”

I googled him and there’s not much information on the chef since 1998, but there is a website called Meet Chef Jean Pierre.

I guess he had a show on the Food Network, and also on PBS, but I’ve never come across him except for this one cookbook. Is anyone familiar with him?

I’ve made quite a few dishes from his cookbook, but one recipe originally stood out to me, and occasionally, I make it. If you know me at all, you know I rarely make the same recipe twice.

The recipe is green beans with tomatoes, Kalamata olives and pine nuts. This recipe alone is the only reason I keep this cookbook, although I have made other good recipes out of it.

Green Beans with Calamata Olives and Toasted Pine Nuts
printable recipe below

1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pound green beans
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup Calamata olives, pitted and chopped

In a small nonstick frying pan, toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Remove from heat and reserve.

Remove the tips and tails from the green beans and cut them into 1 1/2” lengths. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and poach the beans until tender but still firm, about 7 minutes. Drain into a colander.

In a sauté pan, heat the butter and oil and add the beans. Sauté 1 minute, then add the onion and cook until translucent, not brown.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, and olives. Sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add the pine nuts and serve immediately.

There’s just something about this group of ingredients that is spectacular. Of course it helps to love green beans.

The tomatoes and olives plus the crunchy pine nuts are just superb together.

And, with the addition of both onion and garlic, no seasoning is necessary. The olives supply the saltiness.

I’m not sure if it’s Kalamata or Calamata, but this chef spelled the olives with a “C.”

Other appealing recipes in this cookbook:
New Potato and Beet Salad
Risotto with Ginger and Carrot Juice
Roasted Peppers and Chili Sabayon Sauce

 

 

By Published On: August 17th, 201874 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

74 Comments

  1. sallybr August 17, 2018 at 6:35 AM - Reply

    adore this! I will be making it soon, we like to have green beans on a regular basis and it’s nice to have a different take on it….

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 7:07 AM - Reply

      They’re really unique, I think. And a little more involved than plain steamed green beans, which I also enjoy.

  2. bakingintheburbs August 17, 2018 at 6:59 AM - Reply

    Sounds great!

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 7:08 AM - Reply

      Thanks!

  3. Ron August 17, 2018 at 7:45 AM - Reply

    I love the combinations of green beans and kalamata olives but have never tried it as your recipe shows. We have lots of green beans just now so this one is a sure make.

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      It’s just a lovely combination! Hope you like it.

  4. Gerlinde de Broekert August 17, 2018 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    If only my husband would eat green beans, but your recipe looks so good that I might make it for myself,

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 5:18 PM - Reply

      Isn’t that so annoying?!!

  5. Conor Bofin August 17, 2018 at 10:28 AM - Reply

    Lovely colours in the shots.

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 5:19 PM - Reply

      Thank you Conor.

  6. Our Growing Paynes August 17, 2018 at 11:48 AM - Reply

    What a lovely bright dish. Old cookery books are so much fun.

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 4:12 PM - Reply

      Agreed. Don’t you love that cover?!!

  7. Kiki August 17, 2018 at 12:14 PM - Reply

    Never heard of this chef, but I’m wondering… where is the goats cheese? I don’t see it!
    🤣 Sorry, Mimi – couldn’t resist!
    Really like crisp, sharp pics!

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 4:08 PM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! That would be good, too! Thank you on the photos. Still have no patience with photography. And I’m incapable of food styling, But I’m getting more relaxed with food photography.

  8. Jodi August 17, 2018 at 3:00 PM - Reply

    Oh yum. What a great way to serve green beans!

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 4:06 PM - Reply

      Thank! I love them simply steamed as well, but with a simple protein, these green beans are really flavorful!

  9. Angela@eatlivehappy August 17, 2018 at 3:10 PM - Reply

    Yum! Looks delish!

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 4:06 PM - Reply

      Thank you Angela!

  10. Laura August 17, 2018 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    Wow, Mimi! This reminds me so much of a recipe my mom used to make, which was called “Mediterranean Green Beans”. I’ve never had the recipe, so I appreciate this more than you know! Thanks!

    • chef mimi August 17, 2018 at 4:04 PM - Reply

      Oh cool! Well that’s a perfect name!

  11. marcellinaincucina.com August 18, 2018 at 1:33 AM - Reply

    Mimi, I love the addition of tomatoes to the bean salad. It’s not something I usually do. Better fix that! Thanks.

    • chef mimi August 18, 2018 at 7:36 AM - Reply

      It’s a fabulous dish, with lovely flavors!

  12. Kurian August 18, 2018 at 5:52 AM - Reply

    Healthy and looking nice Mimi

    • chef mimi August 18, 2018 at 7:35 AM - Reply

      Thank you Kurian!

      • Kurian August 18, 2018 at 8:43 PM

        You are welcome Mimi

  13. Gather and Graze August 18, 2018 at 7:10 AM - Reply

    So very pretty on the plate Mimi… and I bet it tastes sensational too!

    • chef mimi August 18, 2018 at 7:35 AM - Reply

      Thank you. Yes, and good textures as well.

  14. David August 18, 2018 at 10:42 AM - Reply

    This recipe looks wonderful – but I bet the whole cookbook would be great to own! Since I pair Provence wines and food at least once a month, I might need to find an old copy online…

    • chef mimi August 18, 2018 at 10:51 AM - Reply

      The recipes are delightful. I just love the cookbook cover! He’s so happy!

  15. Zeba@Food For The Soul August 18, 2018 at 11:31 AM - Reply

    I just picked green beans from my garden and can’t wait to make this!

    • chef mimi August 18, 2018 at 1:29 PM - Reply

      I think you’ll love it!

  16. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen August 18, 2018 at 1:40 PM - Reply

    I make my green beans in a very similar fashion. Blanched and then sauteed. Love that method with various seasoning addition. But his one has a big WOW factor! Can’t wait to try it!

    • chef mimi August 18, 2018 at 2:14 PM - Reply

      Exactly. Fun flavors from lovely ingredients.

  17. Greedyeats -Neha August 18, 2018 at 3:39 PM - Reply

    Love green beans! I am totally trying this one out!

    • chef mimi August 19, 2018 at 7:16 AM - Reply

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t just love this dish!

  18. Elaine @ foodbod August 19, 2018 at 1:04 AM - Reply

    Lovely! That’s my kind of food, especially with the pine nuts :)
    And perfect with some goats cheese :) :)

    • chef mimi August 19, 2018 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Love the pine nut crunch on top!

      • Elaine @ foodbod August 20, 2018 at 12:41 AM

        Always! They’re so expensive here though, is it the same there?

      • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:16 AM

        Yes. They are less expensive where they grow, like in Utah. But I’m not aware of where else they grow.

  19. Tabula Rasa August 19, 2018 at 4:28 PM - Reply

    The look great. I’ve got a massive surplus of green beans in the allotment so I will be trying there for sure!

    • chef mimi August 19, 2018 at 7:57 PM - Reply

      Oh great! It’s a fabulous recipe.

  20. mjskit August 19, 2018 at 9:09 PM - Reply

    Fresh green beans are one of my favorite vegetables. Sometimes just a little butter, salt and butter is all you need, but since we eat so many of them, it fun mixing them up. I’ve added pinon before, but never the tomatoes and olives. Sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Oh – bet that cookbook is worth a pretty penny today. :)

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Absolutely. With green vegetables I like to steam them, a little oil or butter and sprinkle of salt. I think this green bean dish is good with a “plain” steak or pork chop.

  21. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 20, 2018 at 1:00 AM - Reply

    This sounds so good! The only people I have heard of from Fort Lauderdale are my grand mother and her husband :)

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      Hahahaha!

  22. Sherry Mackay August 20, 2018 at 2:39 AM - Reply

    nope never heard of this fellow. we spell kalamata with a K, as you can see. this dish looks very tasty. cheers sherry

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      It’s very good – I hope you get a chance to try it.

  23. myhomefoodthatsamore August 20, 2018 at 5:23 AM - Reply

    I love the relative simplicity of this dish providing so much taste and enjoyment !

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:20 AM - Reply

      That’s a perfect description!

  24. Rowena August 20, 2018 at 5:50 AM - Reply

    I’ve got yardlong Asian beans (aka snake, asparagus) ready to harvest in a few days and I intend to try them in this recipe!

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:20 AM - Reply

      Oh great! I know you’ll love it!

  25. David @ Spiced August 20, 2018 at 7:23 AM - Reply

    What a delicious bean recipe, Mimi! It sounds similar to one of our favorite bean recipes, but I like the addition of pine nuts and Kalamatas. (I’ve never seen it spelled with a “C” but that’s just me.) Also, Jean-Pierre Brehier sounds like a talented chef, but he sorta looks like the Dad from Full House. Just sayin’. :-)

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 7:50 AM - Reply

      He looks crazy, whoever he looks like! Such a funny cover. But I like his spirit. Yeah, I’m a Kalamata speller too. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it with a “C” but it may be a regional thing.

  26. sippitysup August 20, 2018 at 10:24 AM - Reply

    My only familiarity to this chef is the fact that I’ve been to The Left Bank in Fort Lauderdale once or twice. Both times were in the mid 1990s and I have no idea if this chef was still there. I’m pretty sure the restaurant has since closed. It had an old fashioned vibe that may not stand up to the days of carb free this and that. But my memory says it was an elegant place. As are these beans. GREG

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 10:48 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Greg. It’s a great dish. And good to know this restaurant was good. I would bet that he was the chef then…

  27. Alida @mylittleitaliankitchen August 20, 2018 at 12:24 PM - Reply

    Those toasted pinenuts bring this salad to the next level. What a delicious and fresh dish Mimi!

    • chef mimi August 20, 2018 at 12:27 PM - Reply

      Thank you Alida! Great flavors and textures.

  28. Jeff the Chef August 20, 2018 at 10:11 PM - Reply

    Nope, don’t know of him, but I can see why you like these beans. Beans and tomatoes is a great combination. And who doesn’t love Kalamata olives! But for me, it’s the pine nuts that put it over the top.

    • chef mimi August 21, 2018 at 7:05 AM - Reply

      Exactly. It’s a great recipe!

  29. neil@neilshealthymeals.com August 21, 2018 at 6:58 AM - Reply

    What a lovely recipe Mimi. Green beans are a staple in our household. But this is a new recipe to me that I’ll definitely be trying. I usually just put a couple of tablespoons of hot stock in a saucpan, then cook some chopped garlic in that until soft then add more stock and the actual green beans. But I’m bored of that so this will make a change. Thanks!

    • chef mimi August 21, 2018 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      It is quite unique. I usually steam fresh vegetables and eat them with a little butter or oil and salt. I never tire of them when they’re garden fresh. But for the rest of the year this recipe is perfect!

  30. heather (delicious not gorgeous) August 21, 2018 at 10:15 PM - Reply

    yum! i’m the kind of person who eats kalamata olives straight from the jar, so this green bean dish sounds perfect (;

    • chef mimi August 22, 2018 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      Oh yeah, they’re so good! It’s a great green bean dish.

  31. FrugalHausfrau August 22, 2018 at 4:39 AM - Reply

    I never heard of him, either & I used to be quite the foodnetwork watcher back when the kids were young. This recipe is JUST what I need. I just bought more green beans at the farmer’s market than any one person ever should, lol!!

    • chef mimi August 22, 2018 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this – it’s got so many wonderful ingredients in it!

      • FrugalHausfrau August 22, 2018 at 10:34 PM

        You photos are great, too!! They really make it look good!

      • chef mimi August 23, 2018 at 8:15 AM

        Thanks so much!

  32. Karen August 29, 2018 at 10:39 AM - Reply

    Sounds like a good recipe, I like the addition of olives. I know a little about chef Jean-Pierre Brehier. As Greg said, he owned The Left Bank in Fort Lauderdale for about twenty years. He sold it and about five years later it closed. He owns a combination business now, still in Fort Lauderdale. It is a gourmet cook shop and he also has cooking classes where you eat the meal at the end of the class.

    • chef mimi August 29, 2018 at 8:42 PM - Reply

      Oh good! So he’s still alive! I hate writing about chefs, and then I find out they’ve passed. It’s really a wonderful recipe.

  33. Alex Villanueva July 21, 2020 at 4:28 PM - Reply

    Chef Jean-Pierre is alive and well. In fact, he had just started uploading new recipes on his Youtube Channel a couple of weeks ago. Truth be told, I was kind of losing hope that I’ll ever get to see new content from Chef JP since it was almost a decade since he last posted something on Youtube. Chef JP may have aged a bit, but his energy and passion are still very much there.

    • chef mimi July 28, 2020 at 6:03 PM - Reply

      I’m so glad! I need to check him out. I loved his cookbook, and his French Florida fusion. I’ll go check him out! Thanks for telling me!

  34. Matt April 14, 2021 at 4:11 AM - Reply

    Great looking dish. I must say 100 times out of 100 I’d add some minced anchovies to this…

    • chef mimi April 16, 2021 at 9:09 AM - Reply

      You certainly can! but I can tell you that this chef knows what he’s doing!

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