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Beans, glorious beans



Goldie is not a fan of green beans and this ho hum expression of hers says it all. On a recent shopping trip Johanna and Brad came home with what seemed to be a giant container of fresh string beens. I always found green beans just meh. Having to snap off the ends and cut them into pieces seemed too tedious to be worth the bother. But now in pandemic mode, sitting on the porch and snapping off the ends to make enough to serve the three of us, it was almost soothing, almost meditative.


Now I had to cook them. I have often cooked green beans but now had the time to google some recipes. I have always known that to keep veggies green the cooking water needs to be salted. But they also need to be cooked less than 6 minutes to keep their color. I dropped them into salted boiling water and set the timer for 4 minutes. When they were done I put them in a colander and doused them with cold water until they were no longer warm.


Now I had to figure out how to make them tasty. After a brief internet search I decided to mix them with tomatoes and parmesan cheese but still needed something to brighten it. Now that the weather is warm, my herbs have started to come up so I snipped some chives, oregano and mint. I cut the beans into pieces - easier to do after they are cooked - and put them in a bowl with the tomatoes, grated cheese and chopped herbs. Brad and Johanna came in from their bike ride and had really worked up an appetite so I added a can of cannellini beans. All that remained was to make a vinaigrette with some white balsamic, salt and olive oil. Just before serving I whisked it up and poured in on the bean salad. To keep green beans bright green it is important not to pour vinegar or lemon juice directly on them. The use of mint with beans may seem odd, but it really rescued the dish from being mundane and made a nice side dish for something off the grill.


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