Monday, October 16, 2006

green beans with toasted walnuts and herbs;
Weekend Herb Blogging

(If you're new to this blog, and a bear lover, please scroll down to see who visited my yard last week!)

Finally! Here's the recipe for green beans that I've been tantalizing you with, lo! these many days. When we had a glut of green beans (sort of like a flock of chickens), I began exploring different recipes for them. Those of you who know me have already surmised the path for my exploration: I made a beeline to my Vegetables Every Day cookbook, doing the "Ask Jack" routine: "What should I do with my green beans, Jack Bishop?"

So I made Green Beans with Bacon and Onion and Braised Green Beans with Soy and Sesame, which were yummy and will be made again. But for hands-down simple and delicious, this recipe zoomed right to the top of my list. I made large pots of it, sent half of them to work with The Huz, and ate the other half myself for lunches and snacks. I even had them for breakfast one morning. It is so incredibly satisfying to eat something right out of your garden that you know is healthful and reasonably low calorie and just ... um ... satisfying!
Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Herbs
¼ c chopped walnuts, toasted and cooled *
1 T minced fresh herb such as tarragon, basil, or parsley
1 pound green beans, ends snapped off
1½ T walnut oil (I used a bit less)
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Bring 2½ quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan.
  • Place the toasted nuts and herbs in a large serving bowl and set aside.
  • Add the green beans and 1 tsp salt to the boiling water. Cook until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the beans well and add them to the bowl with the nuts and herbs.
  • Drizzle the oil over the beans and toss gently to coat them evenly.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
*To toast the walnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and bake them in a 300 degree oven until you smell them, about 10 minutes. Or toast them in a dry skillet until fragrant.

*This may seem like very few walnuts, especially if you love nuts as much as I do, but believe me, it's perfect!
I'm sad to say that we harvested our last green beans earlier this week, just before a killing frost. While lifting the vines to find beans hiding under them, I found this perfect picture of the end of the growing season: a red maple leaf that drifted down and somehow got lodged right next to a small green bean. Now, without the vines to replenish them, our supplies are dwindling. Tonight I'm cooking some in a beefsteak braise with tomatoes, wine, potatoes, onions and garlic. I do so love the green bean season. I'm already dreaming of more green bean explorations next summer.

This is my entry in Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, which is hosted --- well, whaddaya know --- here this weekend! See the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging here, write a post this week about herbs, plants, veggies, or flowers, and send me your entries at [email removed] by midafternoon this Sunday, 10/22, to be included in Sunday's roundup. I am so looking forward to seeing your photo and reading your post, and sharing it with everyone! So rev up your creativity, dig out a favorite cookbook, or do a little research, and let's see what you come up with this week!


Kalyn said...

Woo Hoo. Great job. Such a great cookbook. And you will learn that when you're the host it's always a good idea to get your own post done early. I know you'll be a great host.

Genie said...

Those look fabulous, Pat -- I love green beans, too, and am always looking for new, fun ways to fix them. Thanks for hosting this week -- I'm looking forward to the round-up!

The Inadvertent Gardener