06 July 2014

Italian Pods of Goodness

Romano Beans....Italian  Flat Beans....These beans are flat, broad and string-less and have a bit more flavor than regular green beans.  We grow them on the farm mostly for our family, but lately they've been a big hit at the farmers' markets we attend.  When giving customers a chance to sample, about 90% will pick the Romano bean to purchase over the other.  We've been harvesting them by hand for about two weeks now, and I finally had a chance to fix some for dinner tonight.

You can steam or saute them with garlic, or add them to salads if you like.  They are tender and cook quickly when picked at the right stage.  If you are growing them in your own garden, you should harvest them regularly, at least every other day, at about 4 or 5" in length and when the bean seeds inside the pod are just starting to show some definition.  If you let them get too large where the seeds are really bulging, they can be tough.

Tonight I sauteed them with garlic and onions and added black pepper and Italian seasoning.  I always liked green beans with almonds, so I decided to add some Organic Tamari Almonds I had from Tierra Farm, a farm near us who also attends the markets we go to. I put them in at the last couple of minutes of cooking.   For those who don't know what Tamari is, it is basically a wheat free soy sauce.  I always look for the organic variety, hoping it's not GMO as most soybeans are these days.  The beans have so much flavor regardless, but I wanted to play. I know, "Tamari" and "Italian" don't really belong in the same sentence with each other, but the result was delicious.  So much so, that the two quarts of beans I cooked are almost gone, polished off by yours truly.  I couldn't stop eating them!  Sorry Chuck. :-)

A classic recipe for beans, whether the Romano or regular beans, is the old Italian recipe....sauteed with garlic and olive oil to start and finished with tomato sauce, basil and oregano.  You can also add sliced potatoes...give the potatoes a bit of a head start though since they take longer to cook.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and tips...Ciao!