Friday, October 23, 2009

magical beans

I know where the story of Jack and the Beanstalk originated. My bean patch. They go on forever. And, like Jack's pot of gold, they give whoever is intrepid enough to keep on climbing, or picking, enough to feed them and their family for as long as they live. Or at least through the winter. I now have enough frozen to have beans once a week till Spring. Yesterday, I picked more. I'm working on the fancy add-ins to keep them exciting at the dinner table, and I've found a few really good ones.

Green Beans with Roasted Tomatoes

1 lb green beans
1 large onion
24 cherry or grape tomatoes
1 T butter
salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes in half and lay, cut side up, on a baking tray. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove and set aside. You can do this up to a day ahead.

Trim the green beans (that means, snap off the two ends). Cut the onion in half slice into pieces teh size of the green beans.

Steam the green beans and onions very lightly, until the green beans are just barely tender (3-5 minutes).

In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the green beans, onions, and tomatoes, and salt and pepper, and stir gently.

One of the great things about this is that you can cook it just till heated, and have a light crisp side, or you can cover it and cook it very low, stirring occasionally, for up to 30 minutes, and have a rich stewy side.

Green Beans with Bacon and Almonds

6-8 oz. bacon, diced
1 lb green beans
1/2 cup sliced almonds
salt and pepper

French cut the green beans by trimming and then slicing diagonally. Lightly toast the almonds by setting ina dry pan and heating until the just barely start to brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Int he same pan, saute the bacon until just crispy. Remove and drain the pan. Lightly saute the green beans in the bacon grease still coating the bottom of the pan. Cover and let self-steam for 3-5 minutes. Then, toss in bacon and almonds and saute until warm. Serve immediately.

Variations: this also works nicely with other nuts and seeds, and with other salted porks. Try making it Italian with pine nuts and prosciutto, or French with chestnuts and lardon!

1 comment:

maamypatom said...

I like these! I was looking for a new way to prepare my green beans (not as many as yours, but I've been getting a meal a week for many weeks)a few days ago-- I ended up with a recipe from the Gourmet cookbook that uses almonds, but it grinds them up and then sautes them with garlic. I'll do yours soon.