Date Cooked: September 5th, 2008
There is a lovely lady at work that has a massive garden that produces more vegetables than her family wants to eats. So every once and awhile she brings in bags of tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, green peppers and a host of other things. Up until now I haven’t taken too much since I always felt it would most likely sit in my fridge and go bad. Plus as we will surely find out in future posts, items like tomatoes are low on my list of vegetables I enthusiastically consume. This day however, my co-worker brought in a box full of beans. The beans were a mix of yellow and burgundy beans and I thought the color of the burgundy beans was amazing. So I snagged a few with the intention of cooking a bean dish for dinner. Well… I grabbed more than a few. I grabbed almost all of them.
After making off with my stash of beans I needed a few more so I stopped by the grocery store on the way home. I grabbed some really vibrant looking green beans and had these visions of a nice colorful dish of green, yellow and burgundy beans. Yeah… that wasn’t quite what I got but we’ll discuss that shortly.
The first step to this recipe was to toast some bread crumbs. I was torn between sending some fresh bread slices for a hellish ride through the food processor or just opening the container of bread crumbs I already had on hand. It was a tough decision. The food processor is a pain to clean but the pre-packaged bread crumbs I had on hand weren’t exactly… umm… fresh. The bread was no match for the metal blades of the processor. Into a hot skillet the crumbs went with some butter for a few minutes and then I set them aside in a bowl with some salt, pepper and Parmesan. With that completed it was time to cook up the beans.
In the same skillet with some more butter I sautéed some garlic before adding some red pepper flakes, flour and thyme. Once quickly mixed I added the trimmed beans. I tossed the beans to coat them and then added chicken broth. I covered them and let them cook until almost tender before uncovering them to thicken the sauce. This is where I learned that burgundy beans are just pretty little green beans in a different temporary package. Within minutes of being added to the heat my lovely dark burgundy beans faded to just plain looking green beans. I couldn’t tell the difference when looking at them which disheartened me a little since I didn’t take a before picture. The grocery store probably sells them for triple price. I guess it’s good they were free.
Just before serving I added lemon juice and then topped them with bread crumbs on the plate. I liked this dish a lot and had more than a single helping of them. One thing I did notice is that although I couldn’t visually tell the difference between the regular green beans and the ones that started out a deep burgundy, there was a textural and taste difference. The burgundy beans were softer and had a taste that reminded me a little of canned beans. They weren’t bad at all but just didn’t taste as fresh (even though they were fresher).
I felt better after finishing this dish considering my last two failures. I would definitely prepare beans this way again in the future. They were pretty simple and full of flavor. I might use prepackaged bread crumbs though since messing around with the food processor was more headache than it was worth.
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