Tag Archives: Side dish

Wax Beans and Fingerlings – A Crisp Summer Side

One of my favorite vegetables is the wax bean, and I am happy to see them appearing at local farm stands and produce markets.  Last night, I prepared these lovely pale yellow string beans, along with fingerling potatoes, to accompany Provençal stuffed tomatoes.

My recipe is straightforward – simply slice off the ends and steam the beans for about three minutes (just enough for them to retain their crispness).  Then, run the beans under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Arrange the wax beans down the center of a large, flat serving dish, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Season with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

To prepare the potatoes, slice on a bias and boil until soft enough to put a fork through; then, drain and toss with extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.  Arrange the fingerlings along both sides of the wax beans.

For some color and enhanced flavor, I garnished the vegetables with herbs from my herb garden…chives on the potatoes and lemon thyme and a sprig of rosemary on the beans.

Serve at room temperature for a cool, refreshing side to meat or fish.

Wax beans

Okra on the Side

Fresh okra has probably caught your attention at the farmers’ market this summer.  It has certainly caught mine…

okra 1

If you would like to enjoy this summertime treat without committing to a gumbo, try it as a side dish with another summer star – cherry tomatoes.

To prepare this simple and healthy side, slice a pint of okra into chunks on a bias and halve a cup of cherry tomatoes.  Sauté the okra slices in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan.  This small quantity of olive oil may seem like it is not enough, but it will permit the edges of the okra to brown.  It will also enable the okra to retain its crispness rather than become too slimy.

Sauté for about seven to eight minutes while moving the okra around the pan with a wooden spatula.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another two to three minutes until they are slightly softened.  Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  I also recommend some Aleppo pepper for its medium heat and somewhat salty taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy okra’s pleasant crunch and unique flavor.

okra 2