Fresh green beans are a summer treasure

This crisp vegetable is versatile, delicious on its own as well as when incorporated into side dishes

 

Fresh green beans are a true treasure of summer.

The crisp green vegetable is in season, providing the opportunity to eat them raw in hand. Just pick them, give them a quick wash and munch on them.

But, of course, they are also delicious when cooked — whether boiled, steamed or grilled.

Flavor steamed green beans with a garlicky-yogurt dressing or lemon-dill vinaigrette.

A quick braise of summer vegetables makes an excellent side dish for any grilled meat.

You can also toss warm green beans with blue cheese and walnuts for a steakhouse-worthy accompaniment to a meal.

Green beans are often used in stir fries, stews, salads and curries — and, of course, the traditional green bean casserole.

Update this dish by using fresh green beans, a homemade creamy mushroom soup and the familiar fried onion topping.

Green beans are widely used as a side dish, on their own or mixed with other vegetables or enhanced with everything from herbs to citrus juices and zest.

Green beans, also called as snap beans, string beans or French beans, mix well with cheese, nuts, mushroom, seafood, meat and many other foods.

They are low in calories and a good source of vitamins, minerals and plant-derived micronutrients.

They are a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamin A, as well as flavonoids such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta-carotene.

Snap beans are a good source of folates, vitamin B6, thiamin and vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium, which are essential for body metabolism.

 When selecting beans, avoid those that are limp or overly mature with tough skin. Select tender, long, firm but flexible beans that make a snap when broken.

Make sure they are bright green.

Store them in a perforated plastic bag kept inside the refrigerator at high relative humidity. Green beans keep well for as long as a week.

Wash raw beans in cold water and, just before using, remove the strings and trim the ends.

Following are a few green bean recipes from www.foodandwine.com and tasteandtellblog.com.

 

foodandwine.com

Roasted Beets and Charred Green Beans

3 pounds small to medium-size red beets
8 thyme sprigs
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 pound haricots verts or other thin green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Roasted hazelnuts, for garnish
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
    
    Toss beets, thyme sprigs, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a roasting pan or baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven about one hour, 15 minutes, until beets are tender. Remove foil and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel cooled beets and cut into wedges. Discard thyme sprigs.
    Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high until smoking. Add half the haricots verts in an even layer and cook about two minutes without stirring, until charred on one side. Cook, stirring often about three minutes more, until tender-crisp. Transfer to a plate and repeat process. Sprinkle beans with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.    
    Toss together beets, haricots verts, vinegar, sugar, mustard, oregano, chopped thyme, and remaining olive oil. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for two hours to two days.
    Stir shallots and remaining grapeseed oil in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried shallots to paper towels to drain. Top salad with fried shallots and garnish with hazelnuts and parsley.

 

Bloody Mary Pickled Green Beans

10 ounces haricots verts or other thin green beans
1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, crushed

    Pack green beans in a heatproof one-quart glass jar. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour brine over the green beans and let cool completely, then seal the jar and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
    The pickled green beans can be refrigerated for as long as five days.

 

Artichokes Simmered With Green Beans and Bacon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 strips of bacon, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/4 pound thin green beans
2 9-ounce packages frozen quartered artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    In a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add bacon and cook over moderate heat about three minutes, until the fat is rendered. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook about four minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly softened. Add water, wine, lemon juice, thyme leaves and bay leaf, cover and simmer about 10 minutes, until onion and carrot are tender.    
    Add green beans and artichokes, cover and cook about three minutes, until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf. Add parsley and transfer to bowls. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Shrimp With Green Beans and Toasted Coconut

1/2 pound slender green beans
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 Thai chile, minced
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and halved lengthwise
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Steamed rice, for serving

    Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook about two minutes, until just tender. Drain and spread on a large plate to cool.
     Spread coconut on a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven about three minutes, until golden. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
    In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil. Add onion and cook over moderate heat about seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garam masala and chile and cook about two minutes, until fragrant. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook about three minutes, stirring, until the shrimp are just white throughout. Stir in green beans and cook about one minutes, until heated through. Stir in coconut milk and soy sauce, then fold in the toasted coconut.
    Transfer to plates, garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice.

 

Green Bean and Tomato Salad With Tarragon Dressing

2 pounds green and yellow string beans
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

    In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans about four minutes, until just tender. Drain and spread the beans on a large baking sheet to cool. Pat dry.
    In a small bowl, whisk olive oil with shallots and tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Place beans and tomatoes in a large bowl, add dressing and toss well. Transfer to a platter and serve.
    The cooked beans and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight. Bring to room temperature before tossing.

 

Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad

Salt
2 pounds thin green beans
6 large blood oranges
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook beans in the boiling water about five minutes, until bright green and al dente. Drain and immediately plunge beans into the ice water. Drain and pat dry.
    Using a sharp knife, peel four oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to release the sections into the bowl.
    Zest one of the remaining oranges and juice both of them. Transfer juice to a saucepan and add vinegar and honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat 10 minutes, until reduced to a syrup. Season with salt.
    Transfer beans and orange sections to a platter and drizzle syrup on top. Garnish with the orange zest and serve.

 

Green Bean Slaw

1-1/4 pounds haricots verts or thin green beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2-1/2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1 medium carrot, cut in a fine julienne
1 medium parsnip, cut in a fine julienne
1 red bell pepper, cut in a fine julienne
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped, for garnish, optional

    In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans about two minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain, rinse and pat dry.
    In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook over moderate heat about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in vinegar, water, mustard, honey and celery seeds. Add carrot, parsnip, red pepper and onion and toss about one minute, until warmed through.  Transfer to a large bowl.
    Add beans and toss well. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped egg and serve warm or at room temperature.
    The cooked beans and dressed mixed vegetables can be refrigerated separately overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

Penne With Charred Green Beans
    
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 pound young green beans, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths
2 shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped summer savory or flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound penne rigate
4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled

    In a large deep skillet, toast walnuts over high heat about five minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool.
    Add 1 teaspoon walnut oil to the skillet along with beans and cook over high heat about eight minutes, stirring, until tender and blackened in spots. Add 1 tablespoon walnut oil, shallots, garlic and summer savory and cook about two minutes, until fragrant. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
    Cook penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add pasta to the skillet and toss with the green beans. Stir in some cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Add ricotta salata, toasted walnuts and remaining walnut oil, then toss well and serve.

 

tasteandtellblog.com

Fresh Green Bean Salad With Asian Dressing

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup cashews
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions

    Fill a large bowl with ice water. Set aside.
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and bring water back to a boil. Cook beans three to five minutes, until cooked but still bright green. Drain and add to the ice water. Drain beans well. Dab with paper towels to dry slightly.
    Toast the cashews in a small skillet. Turn heat to medium-high and add soy sauce. Toss to coat and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool completely.
    In a large bowl, whisk rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and sugar. Add green beans to the dressing and stir to coat. Serve topped with cilantro, green onions and soy glazed cashews.

 

Sautéed Green Beans With Cherry Tomatoes

1-1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

    Place green beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer about 10 minutes, until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft. Stir green beans into tomatoes and heat another minute or two, until beans are heated through. Stir in basil and serve immediately.

 

Green Beans With Frizzled Prosciutto and Gouda

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
Salt
Pepper
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced
1/4 pound Gouda cheese, cut into sticks

    In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, white wine vinegar and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
    Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook about three minutes, until bright green and just tender. Drain, then place beans in ice bath. Drain well.
    Add beans to dressing and toss to coat. Let them marinate for 10 minutes.
    Heat remaining oil in a sauté pan. Add prosciutto and cook about two minutes, until it frizzles.
    Add prosciutto and Gouda to beans and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
    Serve at room temperature.

 

 

Sesame Green Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds. When they start to darken, add green beans and cook, stirring, until beans turn bright green. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
    Add chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes, until green beans are crisp tender. Uncover skillet and cook until the liquid is evaporated.

 

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