String beans are delicious in their own right. My parents have told me they would often be with me in the garden, and I would be sitting there in my diaper eating the string beans right from the stalk. Though this is still my favorite way to eat them, I’ve found they can often get boring when cooked. So I was determined yesterday to make the last of our garden harvest of string beans be delicious, and incredibly simple. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated.
I was breaking a bit of a blah (sour grapes) mood, so cooking was a perfect way to help snap me out of it. It can almost always make me feel better to get into the kitchen, so it was a great way to have some alone time with my pantry and spices.
The first thing I knew was that I needed to use some items up in the fridge and some herbs from the garden. So as I tasted the beans I smelled the herbs to get a feel of what the undertones would be. I settled on winter savory. It’s a beautiful scent, and smells strong initially but I’ve found when it cooks down, it cooks into a beautifully subtle delicious flavor. Once I got to cooking I felt like it was missing something that would add a layer of texture and a full creaminess. I remembered the sliced almonds in the pantry and let me tell you, it was the absolute perfect choice. Next time I might even toast them first, it would likely bring it to a whole different level. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.
While I was stewing in the kitchen, Mr. A was outside making chicken, and steamed green onions and leeks from the garden, in our outdoor wood grill/smoking barrel (it can be either, depending how you use it). I strolled out to the door yard while my beans were simmering so I could check it out, since my entire yard/house smelled delicious because of it.
Winnie was keeping her dad company, being as cute as she possibly could, praying for just a little piece of chicken. While she was laying there I noticed the bowl with steamed onions & leeks were directly next to her. She is such a good dog. Not once did she try to go after them. That didn’t stop her from giving Andy the biggest, rounded, brownest, cutest “daddy please?” eyes ever while he tested them. Sorry kid, no luck.
There are three things we found out from dinner last night.
1.) Wood grilled meat is the best way to cook meat (ok, we knew this one, but it reconfirmed it).
2.) Teaching my dogs to “leave it” and making them sit and wait before eating every meal was the best training idea ever. Don’t worry, she’s not perfect. Ok, she is to me but she does get super excited when people come over. Let’s just say she’s a bit of a Tigger (bounce bounce bounce).
3.) Buttered Almonds & Winter Savory String Beans will be part of our repertoire for next years crop.
Butter, Almond & Winter Savory String Beans
- string beans – about 4 to 5 good handfuls of medium sized beans
- 3 pads of butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh, minced, winter savory
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic (regular is fine, just mince it)
- 1-2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted if you want
- splash of chicken broth
- splash of white wine (can be subbed for more chicken broth, or red wine for a different flavor profile)
- salt and pepper to taste
1.) Clean the beans and snap the ends off if you prefer
2.) Add a pad of butter to a large pan. Once hot toss in your beans. Keep tossing to cover in butter. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring every once in a while. Add in a splash of chicken broth and the garlic (if you are using fresh garlic, you might want to toss in with the beans from the get go, I used roasted garlic from a jar I happened to have).
3.) Toss and let the broth steam away, leave uncovered during this.
4.) Add another pad of butter to the dish. Toss again. Add a splash of wine, salt and pepper. Cover the beans, turn to low and let cook until the beans are almost tender.
5.) Open and add in the almonds, toss and cook another minute or two.
6.) Put the last pad of butter in the hot beans and toss in the winter savory. Toss.
It’s ready to eat!
Oh, and if you believe that I make everything from scratch all the time – false. Total false. We definitely made tater tots to go with this meal. Yep, I like mine with plain mustard. I maintain it’s delicious.