August 11, 2009

Maple-Mustard String Beans

My new favorite kitchen gadget that I now can't imagine living without: an expandable steamer. Now I can cook veggies till perfectly crisp-tender without waiting for a big pot of water to boil for blanching or having to shock the vegetables in an ice bath. (Although you could still use an ice bath after steaming if you want the vegetables to be cold right away.) Steaming, as opposed to blanching or boiling, also keeps more nutrients in the vegetables you are cooking.

To steam, bring a small amount of water (about an inch deep) to a boil in a pot or large saucepan that is wide enough to hold the steamer basket. Place steamer in the pot, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the basket. Arrange veggies in the basket, cover the pot, turn heat to low, and steam to desired doneness. 

Maple-Mustard String Beans
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

1 to 1-1/2 pounds string beans (I used a combination of green and yellow)
1 Tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup (I like Grade B - it's darker and richer,  great for dressings)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp XVOO
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Wash string beans and trim stem ends.  Steam beans until they tender but still have some bite, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  • Whisk together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and pinches of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly.
  • Add string beans to bowl with vinaigrette while they are hot, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, to taste.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. wow cool gadget, I steam mine over the rice cooker, love the way yur seasoned this