My favorite seven-year old Kate has a knack for opening the back gate at the right moment: she knows when the dog needs a romp. Plus, she often catches me mid-cooking and is happy to sample. She loved the raw asparagus salad we made together; she and her BFF moaned that glazed turnips & carrots were "delicious".
Over the weekend, Kate and her sleep-over friend Jillian showed up just as I was snapping pictures of still-untasted potatoes and green beans. I handed Kate a bean and she munched right in, then announced, "These are the best beans ever!" (Yes, she got a hug.)
I handed Jillian a bean and she scowled. "I only eat canned beans." Tough cookie, Jillian! The house rule is, You don't have to like it but you do have to try it and applies equally to grown-ups and kids. So after snapping off the objectionable curlicue at the end of the bean (I think when we talk about 'topping and tailing beans', she took off the 'tail'), Jillian took a tiny tentative bite. Her face brightened, "These beans are the best beans I've ever tasted. They're sweet!" (Yes, she got a hug.)
The three of us proceeded to polish off the beans straight from the bowl. Then I handed the girls forks to to sample the potatoes. Kate took one bite and said, "These are the best potatoes I've ever eaten!" Jillian peeled the 'red stuff' (the skin) off hers but once that was gone (and we'd had that talk about how all the energy that makes strong bones and quick minds is stored right under the skin and gets thrown away if we peel the skins), she too loved the potatoes. Kate and Jillian went home with a big batch for their supper table -- carrying caraway beets, too.
I must say: to my taste, these are the "best ever" beans and potatoes too. That tiny bit of sugar really makes a difference, although the girls were more sensitive to the sweetness than I.
"BEST EVER" NEW POTATOES & GREEN BEANS
Time to table: 45 minutes
Water to cover both the potatoes and beans
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar (don't skip, it really makes the difference)
1 pound very small red potatoes, washed well, skins on
1 pound fresh green beans, stem ends snapped off, broken in half or thirds if long
Garlic to taste (I used 1 tablespoon of garlic from a jar, the perfect amount, I'd use maybe a clove or two of fresh garlic, minced very small)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Additional salt to taste
Start the water, salt and sugar to a boil while prepping the potatoes. Add the potatoes as soon as they're prepped, cover and let cook until nearly done. (Actual time will vary based on the size and density of the potatoes. The tiny potatoes from Summit took only about 20 minutes.) Add the beans, return to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes or until the beans are well-cooked but still bright green. Drain. Return to the hot pot and toss with garlic and butter. Add salt if needed.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Tiny potatoes are rare at the grocery store though the earliest new potatoes at the farmers market can be just this small. For larger potatoes, I would pick out the smallest red-skinned potatoes available, of similar size so they cook evenly. Cook them whole, then cut into halves or quarters when tossing with the butter and garlic.
FOR ST LOUISANS: The tiny potatoes are from Summit Farms, the produce dealer who anchors the Kirkwood Farmers Market. They're not local since it's still too early for Missouri potatoes. But they're really small, just 1 - 2 inches in diameter, perfect for eating whole in one or two bites and also excellent for stuffing for appetizers.
I loved the potato-bean combination but you could cook them separately with a bit of sugar, too for "best ever" beans and "best ever" potatoes.
~ Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ~
~ Fresh Three-Bean Salad ~
~ Those Pink Potatoes, gorgeous scalloped potatoes & beets from Kitchen Parade ~
~ Mashed Potatoes & Carrots from Kitchen Parade, a family obsession ~
~ more green bean recipes ~
~ more potato recipes ~
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