Look! No Can!!

blogff03791.JPGThe thing is, if you walk past a pile of wax beans in a wooden basket at the farmer’s market you get stuck for a minute. It’s a phenomenon. Who knew wax beans came from a plant? Once I got them home I had to really think about what to do with them, because I’m not so hot on kidney beans or memorys of three bean salad with cottage cheese, 6 cups of Tab and a cup of coffee lined up on my dinner tray at NYU. If you didn’t know me then, you’re better off. I chose the menu planning technique of opening up the refrigerator door. Collard greens won out. The two of them are known for marathon cooking times that pass from one day into the next and still being recognizable at the end of it. Wax beans have hardly any flavor at the end of the season and need to be cooked for at least as long as they are tender, or between fifteen and twenty minutes. Braise them or steam them with olive oil and salt. Cook the collards the same way in a different pan, for about the same amount of time. In a saute pan, heat up a diced onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil with a halved clove of garlic, a sprig of thyme and some sea salt. Cook that over a low to medium heat until completely softened, a little bit caramelized (babysit it so that it doesn’t burn) and absolutely delicious. If you want to walk a little close to the edge, throw in a few red pepper flakes or a whole pepperoncino. Drain the vegetables well from their braising water and add to the onion. (1 onion to 1 bunch of collards, center rib removed, coarsley chopped and 1 pound of wax beans, stem end removed). Taste for a drizzle of olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is great with an oven roasted chicken, biscuits, corn on the cob and black eyed peas.

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