(part of From Provence to the Catskills, our celebration held as part of of the Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 blog event)
While we knew that the main course for our feast was going to feature a braised pork shoulder, we waited to select the side dishes until after we had seen the produce coming off of Gill’s farm. Among our bounty from the farm stand was some beautiful fresh cranberry beans and thin just-picked green beans. As the components of the main course were to be inspired by Alice Waters, that led us towards this recipe from The Art of Simple Food with big flashing lights. While I changed up the proportions somewhat and added a bit of lemon at the end, I left most unchanged and this recipe produced a lovely, clean flavored dish that complemented the braise nicely.
Fresh Shell Bean and Green Bean Ragout
1 1/2 cups of freshly shelled cranberry beans
4 cups of green beans
1 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lemon
Place the cranberry beans in a medium saucepan and cover with water about an inch over the tops of the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a light boil / heavy simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat when tender. Strain the beans, saving 3/4 cup of the beans’ cooking liquid for later, and run cold water over the beans to stop the cooking.
Top and tail the green beans and cut into 1 inch pieces.
Refill the saucepan (or use a different one) with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then strain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
In a large saute pan, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions and garlic over medium-low heat until the onions turn translucent. Add in the parsley, green beans, cranberry beans, and the reserved cooking liquid. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Add the juice of 1 lemon and taste for salt and pepper as it cooks for a minute or two more. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.