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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

09.03.2001

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farmer jo serves up string beans by Joanna Piatek | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

Basic Blanched Green Beans
One of the easiest ways to serve green beans is to either blanch the beans or microwave them. Prepare the beans by snapping off the stem end of the bean. If they're longer than the width of your cooking vessel, you might want to cut them in half, but I prefer whole beans. Dress the cooked beans with a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of salt, and presto! You have a perfect side dish. Actually, this is a great way to prepare almost any vegetable. You get all the pure, good flavor of the fresh vegetable itself, only a little better.

Microwave method | To microwave, spread about a Ĺ lb. of beans in a large bowl with about 1 inch of water. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and microwave about 2 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Drain the water.

Blanch method | Cook green beans in rapidly boiling water for about 2 Ė 4 minutes. Immediately plunge into cold water. This will stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color. Donít leave them in the water, or they will be too cold to melt the butter. This technique also works well for asparagus.

Once youíve got your green beans cooked, melt a pat of butter or drizzle some olive oil, about one tablespoon, over the cooked beans. Add the juice of half a lemon (or to taste) and toss with a few sprinkles of salt. Seasoning salt also adds a nice flavor.

o o o o o

One of my favorite ways to cook green beans is to roast them. Roasting with lots of garlic and onions makes the green beans savory and tender. While still hot, the beans are dressed with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, which sets off the smooth sweetness of the roasted garlic and onion. Itís a really unusual and impressive dish to serve friends.

Roasted Green Beans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb fresh green beans
1 cup thickly sliced sweet onion
10 cloves of peeled garlic (trust me on this)
salt / pepper
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
optional: Ĺ Cup pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, spread the green beans, onions, and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender and slightly wrinkled. While the beans are still hot from the oven, coat with the vinegar and add a little more ground pepper, if desired. If you would like, toss the finished beans with pine nuts. These are great hot or cold. The roasted garlic should be smooth and mellow, and will taste great if picked out and spread onto fresh bread.

psssst! this way for more green bean recipes!

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