from one generation to the next
Reluctant to give up the last vestiges of autumn vegetables I recently bought a large bag full of Romano green beans. Many recipes you read using these wide flat beans with an Italian heritage allude to toughness and recommend a long cooking time, but I’ve never found I need to treat them any differently to round green beans. They will be deliciously tender after being cooked for just six minutes. The only real difference between Romano beans and any other green bean is the colour. Romano beans are a muted shade of green with a slight grey tinge, and even after careful cooking they lack the vibrance of their slender French cousins.
I tend toward the flavours and ingredients of salade nicoise when it comes to dressing up beans to make a salad, but sadly the tomatoes have lost their summer exuberance and the chilly nights have finished off my pot of basil. The parsley, still struggling to maintain it’s dignity in the cold begged me to finish it off so the large bunch I snipped became the basis for a delicious parsley pesto dressing for the beans.
The beauty of using parsley in pesto is that it doesn’t oxidise like basil. The fresh vibrant colour will linger on for days. It’s also delicious as a potato dressing, dolloped on chicken and fish or even on a humble cheese sandwich.
My finished recipe will generously fill a measuring cup and it freezes well.
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup walnut halves
Leaves and thin stems from a large bunch of parsley. (Save the thick stems for the stockpot)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
In the food processor, blitz the clove of garlic, then add the walnuts and process until roughly chopped. Add the parsley, process until chopped and then with the motor still running drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Parsley Pesto Dressed Romano Bean Salad
600g Romano beans trimmed and sliced
1//2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 heaped tablespoons of parsley pesto.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then add the beans and cook for 6 minutes.
Drain the beans then refresh in cold water. Drain then dry the beans on a clean tea towel.
Toss the beans, olives and pesto together and serve immediately.