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Posts Tagged ‘green beans’

Where am I?, I wondered, waking this morning.

Still in Corfu? It was hot enough at 7 am.

I quickly established that I was in France by looking out of the window.

No sign of the Albanian hills or the infinity pool.

Back to earth! But hot! hot! hot!

At the end of the garden though it was cool enough to tie up the tomato plants that had grown as much as the chickens in our week away.

The bees were still snoozing so it was safe to sit on a stool and talk to the plants!

Then off to Réalmont and its Wednesday market.

I’d missed the markets–they are rare in Corfu.

This is green bean time and here on the stalls they are piled high–picked last night I am assured.

a pile of beans

Joy!

Cooked enough to be tender,  yet still a vibrant green–but not too much so that they become flabby and dull in color. It’s hard to tire of them.

It’s always good to discover new ways to cook them.

I spotted this simple recipe in The New York Times a few weeks back. As I’d bought half a kilo of new season garlic and ginger this morning, Give it a go!, I thought.

My slightly adapted version

for 4

1lb green beans— topped, (no need to tail)

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cloves of new garlic-– (or the best looking you can find)

a large thumbnail size piece of ginger–peeled and chopped small

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • Have a bowl of cold water ready to plunge the cooked beans into.
  • Pound the garlic, ginger and a teaspoon of salt into a pulp.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
  • Add the beans and cook them until almost tender to the bite–(a pair of cooking tongs comes in handy here to whip a bean out for a bite test).
  • When you judge they’re ready, transfer them quickly into the bowl with the cold water–to stop them cooking further.
  • Drain them and leave to dry a little.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan.
  • Add the beans and the gorgeous garlic and ginger gunge.
  • Over a gentle heat turn the beans in the mixture until they are nicely heated through.
  • Taste them and add more salt if needed.

We had them for lunch today…

with a butterflied pork chop–of which more later….

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“Just when you thought you’d had enough green beans for a while…” Meredith sighed at lunchtime, as she bit into a piece of this green and yellow discus–a frittata with green beans.

Discus-like thing

Frittata is an Italian omelette–made the opposite way to a French omelette.

I’ve been guided in their making by the incomparable Marcella Hazan–the queen of Italian home cooking.

The “trick” is in the time it takes.

It’s cooked over the lowest heat, for about 15 minutes–a French omelette over the highest heat, for probably less than a minute!

The French version is fluffy–the Italian firm, but not dry; more like a pastry-less quiche–served in slices.

What they have in common, apart from eggs, is that you can fill them–frittatas or omelettes–with pretty much what you fancy.

In this version, green beans and onion:

1 onion–peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz/250 gms green beans–cooked to tender, drained, and plunged into a bowl of cold water, then patted dry and cut into short lengths, ready to go into the frittatta mix

2 0z/50 gms parmesan cheese–grated

6 eggs

salt and pepper

a thumb-size knob of butter and a little more olive oil

  • Sauté the onion in the olive oil until it colours nicely–set aside to cool.
  • Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them lightly to combine the yolk and the white.
  • Whisk in the grated cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the beans and the onions to the bowl and mix them in.
  • Heat the butter and the extra oil in a medium sauté pan [10 inch/26 cm] to hot.
  • Fold in the egg mixture and turn the heat down to the lowest available–even use a heat diffuser too if you have one [the object being to keep the frittata moist through slow cooking].
  • Cook for about fifteen minutes until there is just a little lake of liquid left on top.
  • Heat the grill to hot and place the pan under it for a couple of minutes, just to firm it up.

“Great finish to the bean season,” acknowledged Meredith, after helping herself to a second slice….

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Small piles of green beans are starting to appear in the markets.

Adapted from the actress and cookery writer, Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe ,
these goes well with spicy and not so spicy food.

for 4

1lb/450 gms green beans–topped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
4 cloves of garlic — chopped very fine
1 dried red chilli–chopped fine
1 tsp salt
pepper

  • Cook the beans to just tender in plenty of lightly salted, boiling water–use tongs to whip one out of the water to test for doneness.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the seeds.
  • When they start to pop add the garlic.
  • Cook until it starts to turn light brown–careful not to burn it–it won’t take long.
  • Add the chilli and stir.
  • Add the beans and the salt.
  • Turn the heat to low and fold the beans over in the oil and spices.
  • (You are heating through and infusing the beans with the flavours–5 minutes should do it).
  • Add the pepper

"Still life" with Marmalade, Lily and spicy green beans

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