Nancy Skall of Middleton Farm in Healdsburg is harvesting her extraordinary Spanish Musica green beans,
which look like Romano beans but have a slightly different flavor and texture. There’s a sweet, almost nut-like quality to these green beans and when cooked properly, they have a wonderfully tender texture. Nancy also has the best haricots verts I’ve found locally.
You’ll find Middleton Farm produce at farmers markets in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, St. Helena and Sebastopol.
Basic Green Beans, with Variations
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, such as Spanish Musica
- 2 to 3 tablespoons good butter, such as McClellands, Spring Hill or Clover Farmstead
- Black pepper in a mill
Fill a large pot half full with water, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the beans and when the water returns to a boil, set the timer for 3 minutes. Drain the beans, transfer to a wide serving bowl, add the butter and turn gently until the butter melts. Season with salt and several turns of black pepper. Enjoy!
- Mince a dozen fresh basil leaves and scatter over the beans just before serving.
- Replace the butter with a tablespoon of hot bacon fat and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar. Scatter crumbled bacon and a grated hard-boiled egg on top and serve.
- Omit the butter; toss the cooked beans with a cup of halved cherry tomatoes, a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 or 2 minced garlic cloves and several sliced basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
Here are some of Seasonal Pantry’s green bean recipes: