I’ve always had firm opinions about food. Even as a child you couldn’t trick me into eating tinned corn. Frozen was fine, fresh even better, but it if came from a can, I’d have nothing of it. Peas were just as bad — in any form. Thinking I was clever, I used to slip them from my plate and onto a ledge under the table. Smug in the knowledge I’d gotten away with the ultimate crime of wasting food, I was eventually outted. One day, my mother moved the kitchen table to clean the floor and several months’ accumulation of greying, dehydrated former-peas and used-to-be-corn pellets landed at her feet. I can’t remember how we settled the battle of culinary wills, but we’ve made peace with each other and found a comfortable middle ground with steamed broccoli or this fabulous green bean recipe.
My husband found a variation of this in a cookbook I gave him one Christmas (I know it’s cheating to give your significant other a gift you covet, but when it comes to food, I can be devious). We ditched the tarragon it called for, changed the type of oil and have been making this dish at least once a week ever since.
Basil and Walnut Green Beans
- 1 pound green beans, ends removed
- 1/4 cup chopped and toasted walnuts
- 2 tbsp fresh, minced basil leaves
- 1 tbsp walnut oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil beans for 5 minutes in plenty of fresh, slightly salted water. Drain.
- Note: Beans should be tender-crisp. Cooking time may vary depending on the variety of bean used and the distance the bean traveled in shipping. Seasonal beans take less time since their skin is thinner.
- Toss beans with walnuts and basil.
- Drizzle with oil and toss again to coat.
- Season to taste and serve immediately.
- Use any nut: hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts are especially good.
- Use parsley or tarragon instead of basil.