This recipe is a little time consuming but I find it deeply therapeutic; splitting each individual string bean puts me in a deep meditative state that ends in a not only a pretty but delicious side dish. Each slightly sweet split bean is a perfect bowl, holding the fresh lemony dressing. You can find french cut string beans in your freezer but there is always something about preparing fresh string beans with the stems still attached; held in bunches, that’s always so appealing to me. Arranging the beans split side up makes an extra pretty dish so save this recipe for a special occasion. This is great served alongside almost anything. Enjoy!
- 1 1/4 pounds string beans
- 2 packed cups of parsley leaves, about a bunch
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons raw pistachio nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 small cloves of garlic
- sea salt
- 1 tablespoon good whole seed mustard
- 1 tablespoon water
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in your string beans, allow them to cook for about 5 minutes until they are tender, to your liking. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Using an immersion hand blender or regular blender combine your parsley, olive oil, pistachios, garlic, sea salt and lemon juice (start of with the juice of half a lemon and add the rest if you feel you need more.) Whisk in your mustard and water and adjust the seasoning as needed. To prepare your string beans, trim the one end and with a paring knife and split apart with your fingers, separating the bean in two. Arrange on a platter and pour the dressing over them. You can give the dish a drizzle of olive oil for a nice finishing touch and serve with lemon wedges. This recipe make enough for the beans with a little dressing left over, which is great on top of fish, chicken or veggies. Serves about 6-8.
Do you ever look at that bag of frozen cauliflower and inspiration strikes? It doesn’t happen often but when it does, you gotta go with it! I thought it would be nice with string beans (another bag that was lurking in the veggie bin) and lemony sorrel leaves. And you want to use Bella Di Cerignola olives because they aren’t too strong, yet add a nice flavor. This is quick salad to make that goes great, especially with grilled fish. I added the peppadews last minute and it made all the difference, making it so much more flavorful and colorful. Enjoy!
- 3 cups cauliflower florets, cooked until tender
- 1/4 pound string beans, chopped and blanched
- 4 Bella Di Cerignola olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and minced
- a few sorrel leaves, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
Take your minced garlic and allow it to sit in the vinegar, while your veggies cook and you prepare the rest of the salad. To save time, I cooked the cauliflower and used a hand held strainer to drain it, so I could use the water to cook the string beans. Rinse off your veggies with cold water and drain well. Into the vinegar, stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and ground black pepper. Combine all of the ingredients and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serves 2-3.
There was about a month that my mom went through a string bean phase. She made them every possible way that she could with tomatoes. Sometimes she put extra onions and garlic, other times lots of dill or parsley. She left them whole, other times she trimmed them short. Sometimes fresh tomatoes were used instead of jarred marinara sauce. I would barely finished the first batch and there was already a call that the next batch was ready. And she always said they were better than the last. lol. I ate alot of string beans, lol. And would remix the recipe sometimes, including a not so tasty string bean salad but mixing it with pasta was the best. And I found myself craving it the other day, and I think once you try it, you may too!
- 1 pound string beans, trimmed to the size of the pennoni, cut at an angle
- 1/2 pound pennoni, if you can’t find pennoni, ziti is a great substitute
- 1/2 a small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
- 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups good jarred marinara sauce
- 1 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese *optional
- chopped fresh dill, parsley or basil to garnish, whatever you are in the mood for. *optional
Bring enough water to a boil for the pasta and string beans. This is great to make if you are busy and want a quick home cooked meal. Once your water comes to a boil, add your pasta, string beans, a little olive oil and salt. What’s great is they cook at the same time. In a separate pan, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on low heat. Once they are transparent, add the mariana sauce and bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Once your pasta is al dente, drain and toss with your marinara sauce. Divide among your plates. This makes about 4 generous servings. Top with about 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese and some fresh chopped herb. I used parsley because I found a beautiful bunch at the farmers’ market that I couldn’t resist. Enjoy!