Green Beans with Mint

Green Beans with Mint dressingThe time is here for many of us in Wisconsin. That window of time, those few months we get to see of warmer weather, and that time where are gardens begin to yield the produce we planted. As my tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are still in their adolescent stage, my green beans are plentiful. You already know about my raspberries as I have posted here and here, and now we get the chance to move onto the beans.

I’ll admit that I really enjoy green beans, especially fresh ones. Growing up, my parents always used the canned beans, and as I never truly liked them, I ate them anyway, typically with lots of black pepper. But you know when you get a good bean, and it is typically a fresh one, cooked just right.

I started to really love fresh green beans when I moved back to Milwaukee. Our landlord at the time, Angelo, an elderly Italian man, which I might add, had a ton of energy, grew beans, basil, tomatoes, zucchini, among other things in the back yard of our urban duplex. We were just lucky to have a backyard in this neighborhood, and one with two huge gardens!  I remember clearly getting off of work on these Summer afternoons, going out in the backyard with my bowl, and handpicking beans, then going into the kitchen and making a nice stir fry with beans, garlic, and sometimes adding a bit of oyster sauce. Fresh as fresh gets.

Now I have my beans in my own garden, and as much as I love the standard green bean, garlic, and oyster sauce sautee, I wanted to do something different this week. After reviewing my own landscape, I decided that I had a ton of mint growing, the beans,a dn heck, plenty of red onion left over from my carnitas, that it would just be a nice, and interesting combination. Clean, fresh, and neat, these beans stack up, and perfect for a Summer afternoon.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh green beans, washed, ends cut off
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • zest of half a lemon

Begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Toss in your beans. In the meantime, add a lot of ice to a bowl of water and let this get nice and cold. Cook the beans for about 4 minutes, drain, and place in the ice bath to prevent them from cooking any further.

In the meantime, get a ziplock bag ready. To a small bowl add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Remove your beans with a slotted spoon and place them in the ziplock bag. Add the dressing. Seal and give it a good shake, placing it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the flavors set in.

Plate and serve. Fresh, crisp, and clean, these beans are sure to please.

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