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Posts Tagged ‘Green beans’

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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Creamy chicken & green bean pesto pasta

Our garden is producing copious quantities of green beans, so we’re eating them with everything at the moment. This is also a great dish for using leftover roast chicken breasts – the legs, thighs and wings are more popular in our house!

Wine Suggestion: We really enjoyed a glass of the Domaine d’Albas Blanc with this dish, a less than usual combination of Vermentino, Viognier and Roussanne that really works; fresh and textured with nice stone fruit flavours and hints of exotic spice while remaining thirst quenching and moreish. From Minervois it is yet again another white from southern France that we’ve tasted recently showing how good white wines can be from this area – they’re often overlooked in favour of the reds. In good vineyards and with the right producer we’ve had a few crackers like this one, so we suggest keeping an eye out for more.

Creamy chicken & green beans pesto pasta – serves 4

  • 400g penne pasta
  • 250g green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 large roast chicken breasts, shredded
  • 5 tbsp pesto
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • a handful of grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack and add the green beans 6 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Drain and reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions for a couple of minutes or until soft. Add the shredded chicken and warm through before stirring in the pesto and cream. Add the cooked pasta and beans to the chicken mixture and add a little of the cooking water to make a sauce. Season and serve with the Parmesan.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A colourful spring side dish that goes really nicely with roast lamb. You can cook the beans in advance and just warm through with the tomatoes and balsamic when you’re ready to serve.

Tomato & Balsamic Green Beans – serves 6-8 as a side dish

  • 650g green beans 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Trim the beans and cook in boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and cool under running cold water. Store in the fridge until needed.

Heat the oil in a pan, then add the tomatoes and fry gently for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Season well, then splash in the balsamic vinegar. Warm through, then tip the beans into the pan. Stir well, then cover and warm through for a few minutes.

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Simple and tasty one-pot that takes just half an our to make. It’s pretty low in calories too for all you January dieters!

Pork, chilli and bean stew – to serve 4

  • olive oil
  • 400g diced pork
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • a large pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 250g small salad potatoes, halved
  • 100g green beans
  • small bunch of coriander, chopped

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan.

Season the pork and quickly brown. Remove the pork from the pan and add the onion and garlic and cook for a minute.

Add the chilli flakes, cumin and pepper and cook for another couple of minutes.

Return the pork to the pan with the tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer and add the potatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes then add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Season and scatter over coriander to finish.

Wine Suggestion: A juicy, ripe red with plenty of choices from either Spain, Southern Italy or the New World. Just avoid anything with too much weight and alcohol.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Really simple and delicious. Works best with really fine green beans.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce & green beans – to serve 4

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g tin of really good quality tomatoes (Italian brands are usually good)
  • 100g fine green beans
  • 300g spaghetti

Finely slice the garlic and grate the Parmesan.

Heat a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the olive oil, then the garlic and cook until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, season, and add the chilli flakes. Cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes.

Trim the beans, then cook in boiling salted water until very tender. Drain well and add to the tomato sauce.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and stir the pasta into the tomato and green bean sauce. Season and toss with a bit of olive oil.

Serve with the Parmesan.

Wine Suggestion: Nothing too big and heavy required here, try a dry rosé from Bordeaux.

(Original recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ River Cafe: Italian Two Easy, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

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