Green beans, old and new

I picked up a bunch of green beans at a farm market the other day, bringing back fond memories of stringing beans with my maternal grandmother on the stoop of her large back porch. She used those beans to prepare a big pot of ham and green bean soup for supper, along with homemade bread smeared with peanut butter (I still eat it that way to this day.)

Besides soup though, there are many delicious ways to prepare green beans. These days a popular method of preparing veggies is oven-roasted. Roasting green beans with oil, garlic, seasonings and Parmesan gives them an incomparable richness. Another favorite is a green bean saute with Asian flavors, a perfect choice for a meal or as a side dish. These are definitely not your grandma’s beans.

Ham and

Green Bean Soup

1 meaty ham bone (about 2 pounds)

2 quarts water

4 cups cut up fresh green beans (1-inch pieces)

3 cups pared and cubed potatoes

2 medium onions, sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. dried summer savory or thyme

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 cup light cream

Directions: In soup pot cook ham bone in water till tender, about 1 1/2 hour. Remove meat from bone and cut into chunks. Return to broth.

Add green beans, potatoes, onions, parsley, savory, salt and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or till vegetables are tender. Skim off excess fat.

Just before serving, stir in light cream. Makes about 3 1/2 quarts.

Garlic Roasted

Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, strings removed, washed and patted dry

2 T. olive or canola oil

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 T. finely chopped garlic (6 cloves)

2 T. fresh chopped parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking oil spray. Arrange beans in a single layer on pan. Drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper, garlic and Parmesan. Toss beans evenly to coat.

Roast 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking time. Roast till fork tender. Remove from oven, season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4.

Teriyaki Green Beans

2 T. teriyaki sauce

1 T. honey

1 T. butter, softened

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed

2 slices bacon

1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips

1/2 cup thin onion wedges

1/2 cup whole cashews

Directions: In small bowl, stir together the teriyaki sauce, honey and butter; set aside.

Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lemon juice. Drop in the beans and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or till beans are bright green. Drain beans in colander, then plunge them in ice water; drain again and set aside.

In large skillet cook bacon till crisp; drain. Crumble and set aside. Saute bell pepper and onion in the hot bacon fat about 2 minutes. Add beans, cashews and bacon to skillet. Add the teriyaki-honey sauce and toss gently. Serves 6 to 8.


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