Last weekend produced two amazing green bean recipes. The first, which you see pictured here, is my own recipe for summer salad. I first made a variation of it about two years ago, minus the green beans, but Saturday night I was looking for a side dish to serve with King Crab legs that was full of healthy veggies and decided to add green beans to my tomato, corn and basil standard. The beans are crisp and sweet, and they pair well with pesto, so they seemed like a natural fit. The trio went well with the crab legs and as I sat there watching Mr. Food Musings suck the sweet meat from the legs, I thought, "Grrr, baby. What a carnivore!"
The second recipe is courtesy of Cook's Illustrated. Mr. FM's mom made it Friday night when we went down for dinner. If you think the ribs disappeared fast, wait till you put this on the table. Garlic, lemon, parmesan, bread crumbs -- what's not to love?
Catherine's Summer Salad
Yield: 4-6 depending on appetites and what else you serve. If you're just having crab, count on only 4 servings.
What better way to praise Summer's harvest than to combine fresh corn (get Silver Queen if you can, the variety that ruled the South and my heart for many years) with sweet cherry tomatoes, crisp green beans and the garden's best basil? Since nothing can spoil, it's perfect for an al freso picnic potluck. You want all the ingredients to be at room temperature, if not cool, so cook the corn and green beans an hour or so ahead and allow them to cool down before serving. I don't measure anything when I make this so use the measurements as nothing more than a guide. The only caution is with the vinegar, which you don't even need to use if you don't want to. If you do, though, use a light touch. Too much will overpower the vegetables' natural sweetness and spoil the dish.
2 ears of white corn, cooked and cut from the cob
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I strongly suggest you use Sweet 100s, or another tomato known to be sweet)
1 1/2 cups French green beans, steamed
2 TBSP olive oil, the fruitier the better
2 tsp champagne vinegar (or white wine or red wine or nothing at all)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut thinly into strips with kitchen shears (the "poor man's" chiffonade)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss and serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Garlic-Lemon Green Beans with Toasted Bread Crumbs
At its debut, this dish was destined to become a Food Musings Family classic. Bread crumbs can be substituted for the fresh bread. I suggest you use French green beans, which are slender and delicate. But it's just a preference; any fresh green bean will do. Keep this recipe around till the holidays and serve it at Thanksgiving or Christmas alongside your turkeys. Trust me, the kids will like it too: L. and S. both asked for second helpings.
2 slices sandwich bread, torn into pieces (about 1 cup)
3 TBSP unsalted butter
salt and pepper
2 TBSP grated Parmesan
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 TBSP)
2 tsp flour
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/2 lb. French green beans, trimmed
1 cup chicken broth
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1. If using fresh bread, process into crumbs in food processor. Heat 1 TBSP butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, till golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl and add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and Parmesan.
2. Wipe out skillet. Add remaining 2 TBSP butter, garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, till garlic is golden, 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour, crushed red pepper and thyme, then toss in green beans. Add broth and increase heat to medium-high. Cover and cook till beans are partly tender but still a bit crisp, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer to serving dish and top with bread crumbs.