Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wax Beans al Fresco

This is recipe I make most summers and haven't posted it before because it really is so simple to make. But I've found recently not everyone is familiar with this variety of beans.

Julian's Wax Beans al Fresco
Wax beans are similar to the green beans usually found on the tables of most of Europe and the Americas. They are yellow in color and similar in taste to string beans and I use them in a variety of dishes when they are fresh. Here in the north of the USA we typically get them starting in mid-summer and they produce through the early autumn. This is a great dish for picnics, cookouts and outside dining in general, as they can be made in advance and served chilled or at room temperature.

Wax beans are loaded with vitamins A and C, while being low in calories.


1 pound or so wax beans
1 shallot or mild onion
1/2 small red/orange bell pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon or more honey
1 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the beans and discard any that are discolored or soft. Cut off the dry ends and cut the beans to the length you prefer. I usually leave them mostly whole for appearance, but cut into bite-sized pieces is fine too.

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in the beans and let them cook for 3-4 minutes, testing them for doneness. They should still be somewhat crunchy.

Remove the beans to cold water to stop the cooking, then drain completely.  Chop the shallot/onion and the pepper finely. Mix together the oil, vinegar and honey whisking it rapidly. Toss the beans in the dressing and sprinkle with dill, salt and pepper. Taste and correct seasoning as necessary. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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