Friday, July 31, 2009

Green Beans

Last Monday while Renée prepared her fantastic dinner, her husband Dave and I took the kids and went green-bean picking at Red Fire Farm. It was a long 90 minute drive from Somerville and I’m sure that we spent more on gas than we saved gathering the free monthly pyo at the farm, which of course raises the problem of pollution, but it was great fun sitting between rows of beans for an hour or so and stuffing our six quart-boxes to overflow. And best of all was watching the kids tromp up and down munching sweet fresh green beans and talking about how they grew (while constructing a complicated power rangers-versus-pests game, the forerunner I’m sure of a greener trend in super-heroes).

By the time we got home I’d had my daily fill of raw green beans, so I made my version of one of my mom’s summer staples: steamed green beans and onions. This is especially delicious with the super-sweet new onions we got in the veggie share on Friday.

Steamed Green Beans and Onions

Trim the ends but leave whole about ½ pound green beans

Cut in half and then into slices about the thickness of the green beans 1 onion

Roughly cut about 1/8 cup parsley

Toss with salt and about 1 T butter in a steamer basket. Steam for about five minutes, just until the onions are soft.

If the green beans have been sitting in the bottom of the fridge for a week and are a little less tender and delicious, you can then lightly sauté the whole thing with butter at which point ½ cup sunflower seeds make a great addition.

Blanching and Freezing Green Beans

Extra green beans can be blanched and frozen for sautéing, soups, and much more in mid-winter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. In the meantime, trim the green beans and cut in half if desired. Toss in about 1 quart at a time. As soon as you put the beans in, cover the pot. In exactly three minutes, scoop the beans out with a colander and either plunge into a bowl of ice water or run under very cold tap water. Then let drain completely and freeze.