Last week, I was able to harvest my first round of green beans from my vegetable garden.
Beans are easy-to-grow by seed. Since the seeds are so large, they are easy to see and handle. There is no thinning required later on since they are easy to sow separately when planting. I prefer to grow bush rather than pole beans as I don’t have many vertical structures for them to climb. I planted my seeds when the soil temperatures were around 60 degrees and the threat of frost had passed. If you have never grown beans, I would highly recommend it. Anything freshly picked from the garden just tastes so much better than any vegetable you can buy at the grocery store. They also make a great plant to show kids how to garden with since the seed germinates in one to two weeks. Seeds can be started in containers indoors or sown directly in the ground when the temps are that above.
I knew that I loved green beans, but I didn’t know how much I did until my husband and I ran across this recipe from the brilliant and talented Tyler Florence of The Food Network. Personally, it tastes like a grown-up version of green bean casserole to me, but try it out and see what you think. Thank you Tyler for elevating the green bean to be the star of the dinner plate.
1.5 lbs of green beans
1/4 cup of sliced almonds with skins
1.5 tablespoons of butter
2.5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large Walla Walla onion, sliced thin
Freshly ground pepper
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
First, dry roast some almond slivers in a pan. The natural oils in the almonds will be enough for them to brown without adding any additional oil. Once the almonds are lightly toasted brown on both sides. Sit aside to add to the final mixture.
Next boil some water for the beans. Once the water has come to a boil add a large pinch of salt and your raw green beans.
By adding a pick of salt, it will keep the beans really fresh and green. This process of boiling the beans is called blanching by putting the beans in hot water, but only cooking them slightly so a crunch remains. Then removing and immediately putting them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. The beans will boil for 5 minutes. While they are cooking get your ice bath ready.
As the beans are cooking, next start sautéing the thinly sliced onion. In a skillet, add olive oil and butter, melt and then add the onion. Have your range on medium heat (6 to 7) so that the onion will slowly caramelized. Once they are nice and caramelized, season with salt and pepper to your preferred taste. This could take up to 20 to 25 minutes for the caramelization process to occur.
Once the beans have boiled for 5 minutes – remove from stove, drain and put immediately into the ice bath. Let chill out for a couple minutes roughly. The ice bath will stop the cooking process within the bean.
Beans, onions and almonds are all cooked separately and then combined at the end to make the final side dish. Once combined, double check your salt and pepper level and readjust if needed.
Enjoy this simple summer side dish straight from the garden!
Source: Original recipe from Tyler Florence – Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds. This recipe varies from the one above.