I learned from Julia Child that when it comes to cooking fresh green beansthe "French bean system" guarantees superior taste, texture, and color. This is my favorite method for preparing fresh green beans, especially for entertaining. Green beans prepared in this manner are fabulous, and I could easily make my dinner from a large plateful of them. They're also convenientyou can do everything except the finishing a couple of hours before you serve dinner, and they'll still be bright green and yummy when you finish them in time to accompany your main course. There's no loss of color, flavor or texture by cooking the beans in advance.