Ah sure, I've always liked beans. It's just that given a choice, until now I'd choose nearly anything else over beans. No more. Beans are beautiful! Beans are the best! Beans are ... okay, you're probably getting my new love interest, yes? (I've even recruited 'bean look-outs', friends who're tasting beans from various places and reporting especially good ones. )
What changed? My theory (which requires extensive further taste-testing) is that beans simply taste better when well salted. Salt makes beans, well, beans.
Enter Super Natural Cooking from fellow food blogger Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, which adds both lemon and lime zest to the equation. Swoon.
NEXT TIME Those little OOOs are cute but fiddly. Next time I'll send them through the slicer in the food processor, though they won't be half so cute that way. In a pinch, I'd tuck the zests into a bag of frozen green beans, especially the 'Frenched' ones that are already sliced into thin lengths. I might also cook the beans in the microwave or cook the beans in well-salted water, then add the zest and some butter. It's the zest that's special here. I mean, besides the beautiful beans.
FROM THE ARCHIVES See the Recipe Box for all the recipes for green beans, including the #1 recipe on A Veggie Venture, the World's Best Green Bean Casserole, which tastes just as good in summer as at Thanksgiving, I promise! Other favorites that I've remade in the last few weeks include the Garlicky Romano Green Beans, Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts (pine nuts not required, these are gorgeous-gorgeous), Green Beans with Onion & Almonds, Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic, and of course the blog-sweeping Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing (and what people really love, the soy-cooked nuts) and from just last week, the Fresh Three-Bean Salad, the French Green Beans with Lemon-Garlic Sauce.
Plus, I must-must-must mention 2005's Summer Vegetable Stew. So many of you were clicking on it, just from the name, that I wanted to make it again to add a photograph, make sure the recipe was clear. And OH MY -- talk about a great summer recipe, a wonderful way to cook lots of vegetables at the same time.
A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK Vichyssoise ... can you say VEE-shee-shwaz, don’t leave off the last z sound!
OOO Zesty Green Beans
Time to table: about 30 minutes
8 ounces fresh green beans, ends snapped, cut cross-wise on an angle to create Os (or zipped through the slicer in the food processor to create whatever emerges)
8 ounces fresh yellow beans, same (Heidi uses only a total of 3/4 pound of beans)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (Heidi suggests 2 tablespoons olive oil or unclarified butter)
2 tablespoons water
Zest of a lemon
Zest of a lime
Chopped fresh chive
Kosher or sea salt, lots of salt
In a large skillet, melt the butter on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the beans and stir to coat with fat. Add the water and COVER. Cover, stirring every so often, til cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the zests and fresh chive. Season with salt to taste.
HOW MANY CALORIES, CARBS & WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS IN GREEN BEANS
Nutrition Information Per 1/4 pound of raw green beans: 35 Cal (3% from Fat, 20% from Protein, 77% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 8 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 42 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 7 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 0 points
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