Green Bean Happiness

A Tale of My Lifelong Love Affair with Green Beans

Read by Michael Flamel

 

As far back as I can remember, green beans have been a staple on my plate. It’s safe to say that if there’s one vegetable I’ve never turned down, it’s the humble green bean. As a picky eater in my youth, my parents worked their magic, dishing out a never-ending array of green bean creations that always left me wanting more. From the classic steamed version to more adventurous culinary experiments, green beans have been a constant source of joy in my life.

 

The Green Bean Gauntlet: Side Dish Spectacular

If you’re looking to jazz up your dinner table with some green goodness, fear not! I’ve got a plethora of ideas to turn those green beans into a star side dish:

  • Classic Steamed Green Beans: Sometimes, simplicity is key. A quick steam with a sprinkle of salt is all it takes to let the natural flavor of green beans shine.
  • Garlic Parmesan Green Beans: Sautéed with garlic and finished with a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese, these beans are a savory sensation.
  • Sesame Ginger Green Beans: Add a touch of Asian flair to your meal with this flavorful combination of sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce.
  • Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans: Everything’s better with bacon, right? Wrap your green beans in crispy bacon for a mouthwatering treat.
  • Lemon Herb Green Beans: Brighten up your plate with the zesty freshness of lemon and a sprinkling of your favorite herbs.

Recipe: Fresh Green Bean Casserole with Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup sliced fresh almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crispy fried onions (optional, for topping)

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Steam the green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, toast the sliced almonds until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter. Stir in the flour to create a roux, cooking for 1-2 minutes until golden.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the steamed green beans and toasted almonds to the sauce, stirring until well coated.
  • Transfer the green bean mixture to a greased baking dish. Top with crispy fried onions, if using.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.
  • Serve hot and enjoy the creamy, crunchy goodness!

Green Beans in the Spotlight

In this month’s guidebook on Vegetable Gardening in America, we’re putting green beans center stage. From soil to sun, watering to hardiness zones, we’ve got the inside scoop on growing these beloved legumes. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, you won’t want to miss our comprehensive profile on green beans.

 

Join the Veggie Voyage!

Ready to dive deeper into the world of vegetable gardening? Check out our complete guidebook on Vegetable Gardening in America for more expert tips and tricks. Plus, don’t miss out on the other eight vegetables we’re profiling this month, guaranteed to inspire your next garden adventure. And while you’re at it, why not plan a visit to one of the many vegetable garden fairs and festivals happening around the country this Summer? It’s the perfect way to celebrate the bounty of the season and connect with fellow green-thumbed enthusiasts. Happy gardening!


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