Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quick Beans

There are some nights, as I'm sure it happens with most people, that there just isn't time to make a full meal. Sneaking in anything for dinner on these nights seems like an accomplishment, even if it's a slice of American cheese or an apple on the way to the train. Yesterday I actually planned exactly enough time to make a great meal, but my plans were thwarted by my handyman. Only two of the burners on the stove were working and there was a suspicious gas smell emanating from the kitchen, so I quickly complained to my landlord. When I came home last night, I knew I had just enough time to change my clothes and make dinner before my volleyball game, but when I came into the kitchen, it was clear that this handyman was not very tidy.

There was black schmutz all over the stove, counter and sink, and he hadn't replaced any of the items that normally live on the edge of the stove. I wouldn't generally expect him to be Mr. Hospital Corners, but the last handyman that came to my house (god bless him for closing up each and every mouse hole) had to take apart my entire kitchen--cabinets, shelves, stove and fridge included. And if it hadn't been for a note left on my chopping block, I'd have had no idea he was even there. Back to the point at hand, although my stove was finally working, now I had to spend a decent amount of time cleaning the entire kitchen and putting everything back where it belonged. By the time I was done I was not only short on time, but I really didn't want to make anything that would get the kitchen too dirty again.

So, I made half of what I'd intended, and then of course ran out of time to write up the blog as I'd wanted to. But, what I did make an excellent dish of citrus French beans that I'd been working on for a long time. It's nice and fresh and can definitely be chilled and served as a salad. There's no mayo or anything that goes bad in the heat so it'd be perfect for a picnic too. I used three kinds of zest, lemon and orange juice, and some delicious toasted pine nuts as well. Here's the recipe:

Citrus French Beans With Pine Nuts

French long Beans (I used about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, grated

Juice of 1 Lemon
Juice of half an orange
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Cook French beans in a large pot of salted water until tender-crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil, butter and garlic in a large skillet. When garlic becomes fragrant, add lemon juice, orange juice and zests. Cook for a minute then add beans and season with salt and pepper. Add pine nuts, toss to coat and serve. To serve as a salad, chill for 2 hours in the fridge. Enjoy!


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