Somewhat to our surprise we’re still picking & eating a few of our scarlet runner beans – earlier in the season I was freezing the excess too, for a winter’s day. (The fardanosa & cobra beans, though, have had it, & their browned remains have joined the vegetable peelings in a compost heap.) I’ve got a cool little bean-slicing gadget that cost a few dollars at the supermarket & has well & truly paid for itself in slicing the beans & removing the stringy bits. While in the past we’ve tended to steam beans to the desired state of ‘done-ness’ – which can be tricky as I like them just-done but the husband objects to their squeakiness in that state – more recently we’ve been eating quite a few bean salads. The basic recipe I’m sure I read in the Herald at some point, but as usual, I’ve fiddled with it a bit.
So – last night I had about 300g of freshly-picked beans to hand (a mix of ours and some dwarf beans from the farmers’ market). First up, I peeled & very-thinly sliced a red onion and a de-seeded red pepper, then put them in a large-ish bowl along with a handful of dried cranberries. Next I mixed a vinaigrette dressing (6 Tblsp olive oil, 2 Tblsp red wine vinegar, & a couple of tsp of Tuscan seasoning), poured it over the veges, & stirred well so that the onion slices were separated & everything was nicely covered.
Then came the slightly tedious job of topping & tailing the beans (the slicer does that too) & putting them through the slicer, but hey! there’s always the iPod to listen to while I do it 🙂 The big pile of beans went into a big pot of boiling water until they were just done; subsequent marinating them in the dressing would get them past the dreaded squeaky stage. I drained them & plonked them in cold water for a couple of minutes – I wanted them still warm when they hit the dressing. Then I added them to the bowl, along with the drained, rinsed contents of a 400g tin of red kidney beans. After another mixing, the salad could sit -covered with gladwrap – on the bench to marinate until tea time.
It’s certainly been a summer of healthy eating 🙂