The green beans in my vegetable garden are ready! It seems like they’ve all come in at once and I’m up to my neck in them, only 5 of the ones we planted actually grew so I wasn’t sure that we’d have all that many, but wow was I wrong! I picked some for this dish, but I’m going to have to go out there and pick all the rest before they’re too far gone and freeze them because I don’t think we’re going to be able to eat this many green beans all in one go.
They’re actually the only plants in my vegetable garden that aren’t attempting a hostile takeover, they sit quite nicely in their little area keeping to themselves. The tomatoes and cucumbers on the other hand, well they remind me a little of the movie The Day of the Triffids. I’m just hoping that they wont sneak into my apartment building in the night and gobble me up. It’s eat or be eaten!
I made this recipe as a side to one of our meals, we had mashed red potatoes with grilled chicken and they all went together wonderfully but I’m sure it would go great as a side with lots of other things too.
If you don’t want to eat the green beans from your garden right away like us, you should blanch them before freezing them. Blanching involves partially cooking them in boiling water and then dunking them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Blanching the beans stops the enzymatic processes that would cause the beans to spoil over time. It also sets the colour and preserves the crisp texture.
Of course, you can blanch them and eat them right away. Some people prefer their beans just blanched and served with salt, pepper and butter.
Blanching Green Beans
Pick, wash and prepare your beans by snipping off the bean ends. You can remove both ends, but it’s only the stem end that’s a little tough.
Fill a large stock pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Drop the prepared beans into rapidly boiling water, cover and let cook for 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes remove them with a large straining spoon and put them into the ice water. Let them cool down and stop the cooking process for about 5 minutes.
They’re now ready to be drained and used, canned or frozen.
Green Beans & Mushrooms with Lemon
Serves 2 as a side dish.
Slice 4 large mushrooms and place them in a large bowl with about 2 cups of prepared green beans. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, the zest of 1 lemon (keeping a little aside for presentation) and the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss together well.
Leave the mixture to sit while you preheat a large saute pan to a medium heat. When heated, dump the mixture in and saute together, stirring regularly, until the mushrooms are cooked, 10 to 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest to serve.