Monday, October 20, 2008

Tarragon Green and Butter Beans

Now, here's something easy to not think about. For us living in North America, the weather is cooling, leaves are falling and days are getting shorter. But, for family and friends living in (let's say) New Zealand, spring is approaching. And all the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables that spring springs.

Here are two of my favorite recipes for Annabel, a friend who is living abroad and is (finally) getting to enjoy spring!

Tarragon Green and Butter Beans
(adapted from Martha Stewart, Dec 1999/Jan 2000)

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 cup butter beans (lima or fava beans)
1.5 tbsp white-wine vinegar
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 minced shallot
1/4 cup olive oil or more to taste
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Cook in green beans in boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes or until bright green and tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside. Drain and rinse butter beans, and also set aside.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, shallot, parley, tarragon, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.

In a salad bowl, drizzle the dressing over the green beans and mix together. To serve, plate the dressed green beans, top with the butter beans, cracked black pepper and drizzle the remaining dressing to taste.

Butter Bean and Percorino Crostini

1 3/4 cup fava or lima beans
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
Pecorino cheese

Drain and rinse fava or lima beans. Set a handful of the beans aside for a garnish and place remaining beans, olive oil, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a food processor. Pulse to create a thick, chunky spread. Transfer to a serving bowl and taste for seasoning.

Slice the baguette and toast under the boiler, flipping after a few minutes so that both sides are golden. Spread one teaspoon of the dip onto each crostini. Garnish each crostini with the remaining while beans and a thin slaving of Percorino cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper.

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