Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beans 'n limes

And I don't mean Lima Beans. I actually mean beautiful flat beans with a herby lime sauce. These beans were advertised in the supermarket as "European beans". Sounds really fancy for a country bumpkin from Oz like me, but the fancy title also attracted a fancy price, at $9.99 per kilo...ouch. At least the limes have come down in price to $4.49 a kilo, instead of a ridiculous $1 each, which they were a while back, and let's face it, they're not quite the same size as a grapefruit are they? More like a Tom Bowler marble in fact.

The health benefits from the humble green bean are indeed extensive, noticably the high Vitamin K content, which contributes to healthy bones. Green beans are also an excellent source of vitamin C, and manganese. Plus green beans are a very good source of vitamin A (notably through their concentration of carotenoids including beta-carotene), dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron.The list goes on ......magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorous, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin..phew. Do as your mothers often told you ..."eat your greens"!

As the summer herbs in my garden are nearing to an end, and mostly going to seed, I wanted to rescue the last few and use in this Saturday night dinner. There really isn't a set recipe, other than boil or steam the beans until tender crisp. Melt about a heaped tablespoon of butter in a pan, (depending upon how many beans you're cooking) add the grated rind of a couple of limes, along with their juice, cook gently for a minute or so, then flavour with garlic chives and parsley and a scant sprinkling of dried dill. I did add a sprig of winter savoury to the pot when boiling the beans as well. No salt, the herbs and lime add immense flavour to the often overcooked, soggy green bean.

They accompanied a crumbed chicken schnitzel and stuffed pontiac potatoes, also filled with chopped parsley, sundried tomatoes, spring onions and ricotta cheese, with a hint of homemade Sambal Oelek, a fresh chilli paste, which I'll post about later.

Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging attracts fantastic entries featuring herbs and fruits and vegetables every week, and Ramona from The Houndstooth Gourmet is the gracious host for this week.


Kalyn said...

Sounds delicious. I never thought of combining green beans with lime, but it does sound good. I haven't had beans like this, will look for them at the farmer's market (when it finally gets started, not for a few months still here.)

Ramona said...

I would not have thought to combine these things, but it looks delicious! Thanks for entering WHB.

Pam said...

Hi Kalyn, good luck in your bean hunt. I hope you can find them at a more reasonable price than they are here at present.

Thanks Ramona, it was an interesting combination, one that was enjoyed by the family too, which is always a bonus.

Ricki said...

The unusual combination of beans and lime sounds delicious--and so simple! I will definitely try this one out. :)