It's been so hot in the Northwest that many crops are appearing early and these past few weeks, green beans are here, so get them before they're gone! This was my favorite vegetable as a child. Not the most nutritious vegetable, but it's fun to eat raw or cooked. Buy them at your favorite farmers market because green beans toughen when picked.
This picture was taken last year near Portland, Oregon. I'd say the price of beans has gone up to $3.50 a pound for regular beans and $6.00 a pound for the haricot vert beans. These are a slender, tender, sweet variety, and perhaps they have less yield, which could explain the price difference.
Long time vendors at the U-District farmers market, Liz and Michael grow crispy sweet beans, picked at just the right moment.
I love everything Grouse Mountain Farm grows!
For color and taste I love red peppers. I like to sauté, grill or roast until the peppers blacken and become even sweeter.
You could use any type of mushrooms but shiitake supports your immune system. I like to maximize the healthy potential of any dish with shiitake mushrooms. Like other mushrooms, if you dry-fry them, they add a meaty texture.
This is a simple, no-fuss recipe. You could add some jalapeno for spice if you want. You could also cut up a few tomatoes and blend those in before serving. I had a great pesto sauce that a friend gave me and I got some garlic sauce from the Edmonds farmers market.
Green Beans, Red Peppers, Mushrooms and Shell Pasta
3 cups shell pasta
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola or coconut oil
1 red pepper. seeded and sliced
4 cups fresh green beans, tips removed
2 tablespoons apple cider, white wine or water
1/4 cup pesto or garlic sauce (optional)
Chopped fresh chives, basil, parsley, etc
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms. Cook and stir until mushrooms soften. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil and red pepper. Stir and cook until pepper softens. Add green beans and stir until they are coated with oil. Add apple cider, cover and steam until beans soften to desired tenderness, however, do not overcook them.
Combine cooked vegetables with pasta, then toss in pesto or garlic sauce, if desired, and top with fresh herbs.