These are marvelous to take along on a picnic. For extra glamour, package them in tiny bundles “tied” with pimiento strips.
1. In a wide saucepan, combine the water, wine, and oil. Stir in the thyme, salt, fennel seed, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Add the onions, celery leaves, parsley, and lemon zest, then bring to a boil.
2. Drop the beans into the boiling liquid and cook, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and place them in a deep rectangular dish. Continue to boil the liquid until it is reduced by half. Stir in the tarragon and lemon juice, and pour over the beans. Cover the dish with waxed paper, then with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
3. Remove the beans from the liquid and divide into 8 small portions, lining them up like bundles of sticks. Wind a narrow strip of pimiento around each bundle and overlap the ends. Serve immediately, or if packing for a picnic, enclose each bundle in a piece of plastic wrap.