Dana’s Big Gardening Adventure: green beans

Photo by: Chris Freeland

Although growing green beans is easy (chances are you grew some in kindergarten in a cup filled with damp paper towel), knowing what to do with them when you have tons and tons (like I do right now) can be challenging.

I’ve grown slightly bored of boiled green beans with butter and salt and pepper and I’ve had just about enough salad Nicoise. So, it’s time to pull out an old standby recipe: Tuscan Green Bean Salad.

This recipe first appeared in my book Pantry Raid published in 2002 but it’s still a simple and stylish little recipe. Enjoy!

Tuscan Green Bean Salad
1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lemon peel
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (75 mL) finely diced aged Pecorino or Asiago cheese
1/2 lb (250 g) green beans

Whisk lemon peel with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly. Toss in cheese.

Cut away stem ends from green beans and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes or until bright green but still crisp. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well; stir into cheese mixture. Makes 4 servings.

7 Responses to Dana’s Big Gardening Adventure: green beans

  1. Natashya says:

    I love fresh Ontario green beans. I really should try to grow them one year. I just need to find a square inch. (I wonder if hubby would mind if I put a trellis up the front of the house? I have already threatened to rip out the rest of the little front yard and put in zucchini next year.)
    Your green bean salad looks like a great bbq side. And who doesn’t love Italian cheese?

  2. danamccauley says:

    Natashya, my son grew green beans one year among my dusty millers and Impatiens. As single plants they are quite nice looking – pretty foliage, nice shape. I don’t think anyone noticed and his 5 or 6 plants gave us several meals of beans.

  3. Cheryl says:

    That photo is the essence of summer.

    Such a nice, simple side. I usually blanch and shock my green beans and eat them all cold before I have a chance to do anything with them. Next time, patience…

  4. I adore green beans. I tried growing pole beans one year and managed a yield of exactly three scrawny legumes. Of course, that summer was a drought and this year the constant rain would have given me a bumper crop.

    Fortunately, my neighbour grows more beans than she can eat, so I’ll be trying this recipe very soon!

  5. Cakespy says:

    Yum!!! I have never had green beans prepared this way but every shred of my being is saying “yes” reading the recipe! Confession: I love raw green beans too!

  6. thanks for sharing your ideas, i’m trying my best to learn how to cook (decent meals :-),I hope i can share with you some
    Filipino recipes too, I hope your OK with Asian foods :-)… Busby SEO challenge


  7. danamccauley says:

    I’m more than okay with Asian foods – in fact I went out for Korean food last night.

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