Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fresh romano beans

I love beans. Sweetie is allergic to beans. When sweetie is away, I make "bean delight!" Doesn't matter what the dish is, we always call it bean delight.

My last bean delight dish was a warm romano bean salad. I was thrilled to find fresh romano beans at a local produce place and greedily purchased them for my dinner. I was so happy, I think I skipped a few steps along the Drive.

Reality set in when I got the beans home. Now what? How do I tackle this now foreign-looking bag of pods? I took a three-pronged approach:

  1. Ask Twitter. This was a #fail, which I attribute to the Italians still being asleep when I tweeted.
  2. Call Mom. Dad answered, uh-oh, Mom was out of the country. I tried to get Dad to channel nonna for her recipe but it was futile.
  3. Google the experts.

Google wasn't as easy as it sounds, partly because I didn't know that romano beans are also called cranberry beans or borlotti beans. I settled on combining the wisdom of Mark Bittman and David Lebovitz.

Here's what I did. It's nonna-style, with imprecise quantities and instructions. Simply do what feels right.

Warm romano bean salad

  • Shell your romano beans: This is best done outside because that's how my nonnas did it. Before starting, pour yourself a nice glass of red wine (that's my addition). Shell the beans directly into your pot. Discard the pods.
  • Add water and a few cloves of garlic to your pot of beans and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer 20-30 minutes or to your liking.
  • Drain.
  • Mix the warm beans with your favourite vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette for about 2 cups of cooked beans

Mix together:

  • 5 T olive oil
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 T dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Add the warm beans to your vinaigrette. Try adding tomatoes or greens if you like.

Enjoy your bean delight!


Chef Chuck said...

Them beans look and sound delicious!! Thank You :)

deb at nonna's house said...

They were delicious! Chef Chuck, your zucchini flowers look great!

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

They look wonderful! Makes me want to get some out of the freezer....