2005: After several days in a row of cooking Thanksgiving-appropriate vegetables (you know, those with sugar and cream and butter) and Thanksgiving tomorrow -- "just plain beans" tasted soooo good.That said, this bean recipe isn't so plain -- those are toasted pine nuts peeking out, plus lemon brightens the whole experience. If you're looking for a last-minute simple vegetable for your Thanksgiving table, these beans would be great.
2007: This simple 'lemon zest, juice & olive oil' has become my favorite treatment for every-day green beans. And when the fresh beans are good, they're simply fabulous, otherwise, yes, frozen still works. In my sensibility today, the pine nuts add more expense and calories than they contribute in flavor or texture -- I call them unnecessary.
RECIPE for GREEN BEANS with LEMON & PINE NUTS
Time to table: 25 minutes for frozen beans, 35 minutes for fresh
Water to cover
1 pound frozen (or in 2007, fresh) green beans (see KITCHEN NOTES)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see NOTES)
Zest of a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring the water to a boil on MEDIUM HIGH. SALT the water (see TIPS). Add the beans, cover and let cook til done, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to hot pan. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve and enjoy!
It's my experience that fresh grocery store beans are often woody -- so I really do PREFER frozen. And of course they're inexpensive and convenient, too. (2007 That said, when fresh green beans are good, there's no beating them.)
Toast pine nuts at 350F for 5 - 10 minutes. I set the timer, even for 1 or 2 additional minutes because I'm prone to getting busy with something else and before you know it, you've got pine nut crisps on your hands and the fire department at your front door.
By right, salt should be added to the water AFTER it boils. But once again, because I'll likely forget, I add it to the water when I first put it on the stove. I've never done taste comparisons but I sure don't think there's a difference. It does seem, however, that I've read that one reason to add the salt after the water has begun to boil is to avoid pitting a non-stick surface.
~ Garlicky Romano Green Beans ~
~ Green Beans with Onion & Almonds ~
~ "Best Ever" New Potatoes & Green Beans ~
~ more green bean recipes ~