Thursday, September 6, 2012

Glorious Green Beans

fresh green beans

When I was a kid, green beans were one of my favorite vegetables. My mother found that strange, because she thought that green beans had little taste. I beg to differ.

Well-cooked beans are a delight and a wonderful side dish for many foods. Furthermore, they are good for you. I usually buy far more than I can eat at one meal, because I am perfectly happy eating them for several days. The trick, I believe, is to basically buy them fresh; cook them very briefly (3-4 minutes) in salted boiling water; plunge them into cold water to stop them from cooking further; and finally finishing them in a fry pan with butter and garlic, olive oil and garlic, butter and onions, or butter and fresh dill. I cook them whole, just snapping off the ends.

Green beans also make a surprisingly addictive vegetable  pate. This is a great dish to bring to parties or to keep in the fridge for frequent noshes. Here's the recipe:

     1 lb. green beans, cooked
     4-5 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
     1 cup walnuts
     4-5 medium onions, chopped
     few tablespoons oil or butter
     salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions in the oil until soft but not browned. Then throw everything into a food processor and process until the mixture is combined but still has a rough texture. Serve on crackers or toast.

By the way, what you call green beans depends on where you live. People commonly call them string beans, green beans, pole beans, bush beans, snap beans, runner beans, and French beans.

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