2006: Oh if there'd only been piles and piles of these gorgeous Romano beans! Ron Jones from On the Wind Farm threw a few into my bag on Saturday, betting I'd love 'em. How right he was!
Romano beans are also known as 'Italian string beans' or 'Italian pole beans' or 'Italian flat beans'. They're broader than "every day green beans" and have flat pods. They cook in a flash. And they're more tender, more velvety, more green-tasting, more alive-tasting than other beans. If I had a vegetable garden, I'd definitely grow these. If you have a vegetable garden, I recommend that you grow these and send piles and piles to me!
2008: Grab Romano beans whenever you can find them, they are really special! If the idea of garlic and rosemary don't appeal, then I'd recommend these other ideas, Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts, Green Beans with a Honey-Mustard Glaze and Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic.
GARLICKY ROMANO BEANS
Time to table: 15 minutes (ditto, 35 if not)
GARLIC- and ROSEMARY-INFUSED OIL
1 cup olive oil
a large sprig of fresh rosemary
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with flat of a knife
Heat oil, rosemary and garlic in a skillet (the larger surface area heats the oil more evenly and quickly) until the rosemary sizzles. Turn off heat and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary and garlic.
Salted water to cover (see Kitchen Notes)
1 pound beans, ends snapped
1 tablespoon Garlic- and Rosemary-Infused Oil
1 tablespoon good bread crumbs, optional
Salt & pepper
Bring the salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes or until done but still bright green. (They cook faster than regular green beans.) Drain and toss with the oil and bread crumbs if using. Season to taste.
The garlic- and rosemary-infused oil came from another salad. But it's so good that I've now made a cup for salads and vegetables for the next couple of weeks. The beans themselves only call for one tablespoon so there's plenty leftover for other uses.
Well-salted water is so important to pulling the most flavor from green beans. I allow 1/2 tablespoon of table salt (or a tablespoon of kosher salt) per quart of water.
When a meal requires hands-on prep just before serving, I cook the beans ahead of time, then cool quickly in a bowl of ice water. I dry the beans on paper towels, then chill them until it's time to serve them. Just before serving, warm a tablespoon of the oil in a skillet, add the beans and warm through.
Skip the bread crumbs for a low-carb vegetable, especially appropriate since this is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging at South-Beach fan, Kalyn's Kitchen. This week, look for the round-up at The Inadvertent Gardener.
~ Green Beans with Mayo-Soy Sauce ~
~ Green Beans with Onion & Almonds ~
~ Quick Ways to Doctor a Bag of Green Beans ~
~ more green bean recipes ~
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