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Green beans vinaigrette with lemon and cheese

Bean Time
Bean Time
Alyce Morgan

If there is anything in the world as good as plain old, fresh steamed green beans, I don't know what it is. But it could be

  • Green beans cooked grannie-style (forever) with a big ham hock (In St. Paul, get yours at Widmer's; they'll cut it in half.) and tiny new potatoes. If you grew up Southern, you'll need your cornbread with this.
  • Green beans blanched for two minutes, drained, and sauteed with garlic in olive oil (lots of black pepper). At Thanksgiving, gild the lily and top with a grating of sharpest Wisconsin (or Vermont) cheddar afterward.
  • Green beans boiled for five minutes and served with hot, crunchy bacon and fresh, minced red onion (and lots of black pepper)
  • "Fresh" green beans in January. That means you need to soon freeze a bunch in ziplock bags or freezer containers.
  • Red wine vinaigrette (uses up extra bits of ham, bacon and cheese, too) like this:

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Lemon and Cheese serves 2-3

Make a vinaigrette in the bottom of a medium bowl: 1T red wine vinegar, pinch each kosher salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp Dijon-style mustard, 1/2 tsp honey, 3 T extra virgin olive oil. Dissolve salt in vinegar and add pepper. Whisk in mustard and honey. Whisk in the oil 1 T at a time until thoroughly blended. Set aside as you make the beans. (No whisk? Use a table fork or shake everything together in a jam jar.)

  • 3 cups fresh green beans, washed thoroughly and trimmed (if large or old, cut into 1-2" pieces, otherwise leave whole)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped ham (any sort)

Bring 2-3 qts water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add above ingredients and turn heat down to simmer beans for five minutes or so until nearly tender. You can cook them for a shorter or longer time, depending on how you like them.

Drain the bean mixture in a colander (don't add cold water or put them in an ice bath) and add to vinaigrette in bowl. Stir well. Add the following and mix together gently:

  • 1/8 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 slice chopped, cooked bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped cheese (I liked aged Gouda, but you could choose any sharper cheese.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely

Drizzle over all

1T fresh lemon juice

Stir together gently.

Garnish with

1T finely minced fresh dill ( any other fresh herb like tarragon, thyme, or parsley)

Taste and adjust seasonings. A pinch of crushed red pepper will heat things up if you like that.

For more info:

Growing beans in Minnesota

Other green bean recipes from St. Paul

Freshly grilled tuna with green beans in a salad

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