String Beans With Summer Herb Pesto 4.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Nourish Jul 7, 2010

String beans are in abundant supply all summer long and, for some reason, particularly appealing at farm markets. Maybe what I like most is the process of picking through the mountain of beans and filling up my bag. It's a low-key form of foraging.

Whatever the reason, I'm always looking for new things to do with them. Since I'm also drawn to fresh herbs, I combined the two in this dish, in which a trio of herbs is chopped with garlic and olive oil to make a quick, flavorful dressing. Mixing the dressing with the warm beans brings out even more of the herb and garlic aromas. The dressing is garlicky; if you prefer a milder hit of garlic, cook the roughly chopped garlic in a little olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes before adding.

If you can find wax beans, try them here. The green dressing will complement the pale color of the beans.

After assembly, the dish can be eaten warm right away or served at room temperature up to 2 hours later.

Make Ahead: If you plan to make this dish in advance, add the step of shocking the just-cooked green beans in a bowl of ice water; that will help them stay green.


Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • Salt
  • 1 pound green or wax beans (ends trimmed), cut into 1-to-2-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed dill sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large bunch chives, coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until just tender.

Meanwhile, combine the parsley, dill and chives in a pile on a cutting board. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chop the garlic into the pile of herbs so that the mixture ends up finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and add the oil; mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

When the beans have cooked, drain them in a colander; transfer immediately to a bowl and add the herb pesto. Stir to coat evenly. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and serve within 2 hours.

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Recipe Source

From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.