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{Printable recipe for Basil Green Bean Salad with New Potatoes)

I really love, love what I have thought of as my best green bean dish, which is Lemon Green Beans. There’s little to it and I make this A LOT. It’s probably my most used “recipe” because people memorize it at my dinner table: “Cooked green beans stirred up with lots of salt, pepper, and grated lemon rind with a little crushed red pepper and olive oil.”  Great summer snack, too. I just leave a bowl on the counter. Keeps me from raiding the chips. Sometimes.  ALL ABOUT COOKING GREEN BEANS HERE.

I also adore my Green Beans and Feta with Hot Tomato Garlic Vinaigrette:

Then, of course, there is my yummy sheet pan version of green beans:

Garlicky Green Beans with Mushrooms:

Or another sheet pan recipe I recently put on Facebook: OVEN-ROASTED SPICY LEMON GREEN BEANS (recipe below in italics)Image may contain: food

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, toss a pound of washed, trimmed, and patted dry green beans with one sliced lemon, 1/2 medium sliced red onion, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and an 1/8 teaspoon of crushed red or Aleppo pepper. Turn it all out evenly onto a greased rimmed sheet pan ( approx. 13″x18″x1″). Place in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot, warm, at room temp, or cold. (Easy additions at end: chopped fresh basil, marjoram, thyme.)

And there’s more, but I’ll quit because I have a new kid on the More Time green bean block. This summer, my new gluten-free, and easily vegan or vegetarian green bean love takes the place of both potato salad (oh the time, calories, and fat) and three-bean salad thrown together with bottled Italian dressing. (Insert grimace.) A quick all-in-one side for Father’s Day  (or any day) burgers, grilled chicken, ribs, steaks, or pork chops, it’s also pretty much a one-pot wonder. Less dishes to wash.  Leftovers make for a healthy lunch all on their own, too–which is a happy thing this time of year when we want to be outside gardening, hiking, or at the picnic table drinking a cold one–and not at the stove.

Below, Colorado summer:  Our newest neighborhood twins show themselves running between our house and the neighbors over the weekend. They’re headed toward my garden out back. #sigh

And will soon look like this (photo from last year’s new garden planting)…

Try this soon:

BASIL GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH NEW POTATOES

serves 4

I happened to have leftover bacon and toasted walnuts and threw them in; leave them out if you don’t have them. Hot? You could make this in the cool morning and refrigerate it until dinner time.  LEFTOVER HINT: I took the leftovers and stirred in sliced kalamata olives and chopped fresh mozzarella along with a few more tomatoes for the next day’s lunch. YES!

VEGANS: Skip the bacon and added cheese in leftover versions. VEGETARIANS: Skip bacon and make sure to use fresh mozzarella for leftover version. 

  • Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and crushed red pepper
  • Fresh basil–6 leaves and stem (Or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1 pound (about 10) small new white or red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large shallot, minced (or 1 -2 tablespoons minced red onion)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 piece very crispy bacon, crumbled — optional
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped — optional
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 6 sliced cherry tomatoes, garnish

COOK THE POTATOES: Fill an eight or ten-quart pot 3/4 full of water and add 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, along with a pinch of crushed red pepper and the stem from the basil. Cover; bring to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, 5 – 10 minutes.   Meanwhile, chop the basil leaves and set aside for a moment. Using a spider or spatula, remove the potatoes to a large mixing bowl, leaving hot water in pot to cook green beans. Add shallots and chopped basil to the potatoes in the bowl and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil; stir and set aside.

COOK THE GREEN BEANS IN THE SAME WATER: Add green beans to the pot of water and cook until tender, 4 – 5 minutes. (Depends on how thick your beans and how old they are, as well as where you live. Here at altitude, it probably takes me a couple of minutes longer.)  Drain well. Remove basil stem.

STIR IT ALL TOGETHER, RE-SEASON, AND SERVE: Add drained beans to the mixing bowl with the potato mixture; sprinkle with salt and pepper and a tiny bit of crushed red pepper.  Stir gently, but well. Add bacon, walnuts, red wine vinegar, mustard, and  2 more tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Stir well once more and taste. Adjust seasonings, including salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil. Tip onto a serving platter or bowl. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.

{printable recipe}

COOK’S NOTE:  Why are there ranges for amounts of ingredients in my recipes? Or ranges for cooking times?

1. RANGES FOR INGREDIENT AMOUNTS: Because not all ingredients are created equal. For instance: your onions could be really hot or strong and you’d only need a bit compared to some young, sweet onions I use. Your tastes are also different than mine. You might like more vinegar; I might like more oil. (Or salt, pepper…)

2. RANGES FOR COOKING TIMES: Your stove, pot, heating elements, altitude, etc could all be different than mine. Your idea of “low heat” might not be the same as anyone else’s. Your vegetables could be larger, smaller, older, newer, or cut into different size pieces than in my kitchen. You might like your potatoes more tender than do I.

All of these elements count in the kitchen, which is why a recipe is only a guideline, an idea, and you create your meal to your own tastes. (There’s no option.) I’m always amazed and also happy to see the differences when readers send me pictures of the meals they’ve made from my recipes. Cooking must be a creative process.

Watch this for a better take on the subject:

JACQUES PEPIN–A VIDEO ESSAY ABOUT THE NATURE OF RECIPES AND COOKING

or, just for fun, listen to the famous Greens, Beans, Potatoes, Tomatoes song (Shirley Caesar) with the Peanuts Gang dancing.  There’s definitely a song for almost anything.

Sing a new song and cook some beans,

Alyce