Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Marinated Garden Beans

My garden beans are ripening daily now. Yesterday I picked 3 pounds of yellow beans, 1 pound of green beans, and 1/2 pound of Italian flat beans. All of the beans are heirloom varieties, which simply means that the seeds that have been saved from plants that were grown, and were not genetically engineered. I chose all the bean varieties with thoughts about their combination of sweetness, ability to tolerate heat, and fight disease. They're doing really well! That said, you'll be seeing several bean recipes here. You'll probably see lots of fresh beans in your garden, at the farmer's market, and the grocery store. My favourite way with beans is to simply cook them until they're crisp tender, add bits of butter and a splash of olive oil, then a sprinkle of salt. However, beans are not a family favourite, so I'm constantly trying to find ways to change up the flavours to get even the pickiest eater to at least try them. This recipe is loosely based on an old family recipe for 5 bean salad, but this version includes only 1 or 2 kinds of beans. It's a quick way to add fresh beans as a side dish.


1 pound fresh garden beans
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic or shallot
1 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp salt


The garden beans can be green beans, yellow or wax beans, or a mixture. Trim the beans by snipping off the stem end of the bean. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and add beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until crisp and tender. Drain beans and rinse with cold water. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add beans to bowl and toss to coat. Chill for at least 1 hour. This dish can be made ahead of time and left to marinate for several hours, or even overnight.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: If you're in a "pickle" about how to get your family to eat veggies, and if your family likes pickles, try marinating your vegetables, then serving them cold. This marinade adds a pucker similar to that of pickles, using both lemon juice and vinegar. The fresh sweetness of the vegetables themselves balances the tartness of the lemon juice and vinegar. Your family will still be eating their vegetables, they're just served up in a slightly different way.

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