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Posts Tagged ‘French beans’

Green beans with lemon

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe that she recommends for Thanksgiving but we like it with roast chicken (and lots of other things) in the summer months. It’s easy to scale down for smaller numbers. We like our beans well-done – no squeaky, al-dente beans for us please.

Green Beans with Lemon – serves 8 to 10

  • 1kg fine green beans, topped and tailed (there’s always a debate in our house over whether or not to leave the curly tails on)
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon (to prepare cut a slice of each end, then cut downwards to remove the skin and pith, then slice)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add plenty of salt to the boiling water, then add the beans and cook until tender (start checking after about 6 minutes).

Drain the beans and put the pot back over the heat with the butter and a few drops of olive oil. Add the lemon slices, and any juice on the board, to the butter. Stir well and add the beans.

Turn the beans over in the lemony butter. Add some sea salt and lots of freshly ground white pepper (black pepper will do fine if that’s what you have).

(Original recipe from Feast by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2004.)

 

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Summer risotto

On a balmy summer evening we podded local broad beans and picked some french beans from the vines in our back yard. We used a stock made from a previously roasted chicken which was subsequently used to poach chicken fillets for a Coronation Chicken. The only thing out of place were the frozen peas, but we think unless you pick the pods fresh and eat them almost immediately, frozen is often best. This is based on a risotto primavera or Spring risotto which usually contains asparagus.

Wine Suggestion: a fresh, summery Godello caught our eye. The La Sonrisa de Tares from Bierzo had enough weight to balance the starchy creaminess and depth of the Parmesan while a lovely textural freshness and summery zing made the beans and peas sing with all their fresh flavours.

Summer Risotto – serves 4

  • 200g shelled broad beans (you will need about 800g of broad beans in their pods to get this quantity or you can use frozen broad beans, defrosted)
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
  • 1.5 litres home-made chicken stock (you might not need it all)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g butter
  • 350g Carnaroli or other risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 100g Parmesan, finely grated

Start by double podding the broad beans so you are left with bright green beans. To do this just blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and squeeze to remove the papery skin. If you’re using frozen beans you might be able to remove the skins when defrosted without having to blanch first.

Put the stock into a large pot and bring to a simmer.

Heat the oil and 40g butter in a wide heavy pan with a lid. Cook the shallot, scallions & garlic for a few minutes until soft and transparent but don’t let them brown. Add the rice and keep stirring for a few minutes until the rice is hot and starting to sizzle, then pour in the wine. Continue to stir until the wine has evaporated.

Now start gradually adding the stock, a ladleful at a time. Only add another ladleful when the previous one has been absorbed by the rice. Continue stirring and adding the stock for 14 minutes, then add the broad beans and peas with some salt and black pepper. Meanwhile, cook the green beans in the simmering stock for 6 minutes or until soft, then add these to the rice too. Continue stirring and adding stock until the risotto has a creamy texture and the rice is soft but retains a little bite.

Remove the pan from the heat and add half the parmesan, the rest of the butter and one last splash of stock to retain the moisture. Put the lid on the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes off the heat. Serve with the rest of the Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

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