I grew up helping my mother in the kitchen, and one of the first tasks I remember being charged with was snapping green beans. It's a methodical process, removing the thin string all along the bean. Half of the beans hardly made it to the table; I loved eating the sweet veggies raw. Now, I prefer cooking them; this season, make the most of the green beans popping up in farmer's markets, and cook them up for this week's meatless Monday meal.
Start out with a salad. This salad pairs green beans with mushrooms. Topped with a creamy vinaigrette, it's a real change from traditional lettuce-based salads and, perhaps most importantly, it's more filling given the added mushrooms. Throw a sliced hard-boiled egg into the mix for added protein to make this salad hefty enough for dinner.
From the Organic Authority Files
There's no more traditional preparation for green beans than in a green bean casserole. Our version does away with the processed canned soup, subbing real ingredients to make this casserole a treat. You won't miss the funyons; the homemade French fried onions are miles more delicious... and much better for you!
Go a bit further afield, with an exotic Ethiopian combination of green beans, potatoes and carrots. This spiced Berbere stew is a delicious way to change up your meatless Monday meals. Serve it with homemade injera for an even more authentic experience.
Green beans pair perfectly with sesame; this Asian-inspired spiced sesame green bean recipe is great on its own, as a side, or as part of an Asian vegetable medley. Serve a few different dishes with some brown rice, and you've got an exotic vegetarian meal ready to go!
Image: Andrew Zuckerman