One of my favorite weekend pastimes is exploring the local farmers market in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. There has been no better way for me to discover a world of produce out there that I didn’t know existed. The farmers are always patient enough to explain the tastes and cooking possibilities, which inspires me to try something new.
I had a few leftover fresh green beans in my refrigerator and decided to buy some more fresh beans from the farmers market to make a salad. I bought deep purple colored beans (king beans) and purple striped white colored beans (dragon tongue beans). I thought the dish would look amazing with different colored beans, but I forgot that the purple color turns to green when you cook them (not surprisingly, they are also called magic beans).
This combination of beans, mushrooms and tomatoes is wonderful.
- 11 oz. (300 grams) fresh green/mixed beans, ends cut off
- 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 5 oz. (140 grams) white button mushrooms
- ½ large red onion, thinly sliced
- 20 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
- 1 garlic clove, mashed lightly with the knife then thinly sliced
- 1 oz. (30 grams) slivered almonds
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, shaved
- Steam beans for a few minutes*, making sure that the beans still have a bit of crunch. Rinse them under cold water to keep them from overcooking and set them aside (steaming is the best way to retain the nutritional content of the beans).
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Make sure that the pan is hot before tossing in the mushrooms. Spice them with a little salt and pepper and cook until browned.
- Put the mushrooms aside, lower to medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in the onions and sauté for 2 minutes, and then add the sliced garlic to the pan. Continue until the onions are soft and translucent, and then add the slivered almonds. Sauté until the almonds are toasted and browned.
- Add the cherry tomatoes halves to the pan, and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes to release the juices and sweetness from the tomatoes.
- Toss in the steamed beans and sautéed mushrooms and cook just long enough to heat the vegetables through.
- Serve in a bowl topped with shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese.
*If you have different kinds of beans, you will need to steam them separately as they will have different cooking times.