Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lemon-Ginger Green Beans

Plate of Lemon-Ginger Green Beans
Green Beans to Celebrate New Year

Recipe from Cooking By Moonlight

It’s the Celtic New Year and a beautiful fall day in the Santa Cruz mountains. A fresh breeze is combing the redwoods, blowing small branchlets of russet needles everywhere. It’s cool but sunny, invigorating weather for outdoor forays, and a perfect day to start a new year. For those of us who like playing with numbers, 11/1/11 is a particularly fine and symmetrical day to begin the year.

I chose this recipe for today because it’s both invigorating (ginger and lemon) and grounding (the nuts), plus it’s green! Karri Ann Allrich published this recipe in Cooking By Moonlight, a wonderful compendium of recipes for each moon (month) of the year. Although Karri Ann uses this recipe for February’s Quickening Moon, her intention to serve a dish that is stimulating as well as warming is the same as my menu idea today. Also, we have an abundant crop of late-harvest green beans here.

Raw Beans, Ginger, Almonds, and Dressing
Simple Natural Ingredients
Cooking By Moonlight is out of print, but can still be found. It’s a worthwhile addition to anyone’s cookbook collection. Every recipe is simply superb, nothing bad or even average. In addition, she discusses cooking with the phases of the moon in mind, and gives excellent advice for “developing a seasonal intuition” in the kitchen. There is also advice on “using herbs and spices magically” and a section on “love foods” which is very handy for stirring up some romance. You can locate your own copy at Abebooks, an online company that offers a referral service to many small bookshops that are likely to have esoteric items but could not otherwise advertise globally.

Because this is essentially a dressed hot salad, you can use more green beans if you have them (I used about ¾ lb.). I cut the amount of oil in half and substituted water for the other ½ tbsp. The recipe was written as serving 4. However, my husband and I found these so delicious (and the rest of our dinner so light) that we ate the whole batch at one meal! Enjoy!

Cooked Green Beans with Ginger and Almonds, Dressing on the Side
Hot Green Beans, Almonds, and Dressing
Lemon-Ginger Green Beans
serves 2 – 4

½ lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
2 inches fresh ginger root
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. fresh grated lemon zest
sea salt and fresh pepper
2 tbsp. pine nuts, pecans, or almonds

Chop the nuts fairly fine.

Peel the ginger and cut it into matchsticks. Place ginger in a saucepan filled with 2 quarts of boiling salted water, and cook 1 minute. Add the beans and quickly cook them until they are tender-crisp, 3 – 4 minutes. Drain the gingered beans in a colander.

While beans are cooking: In a glass measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, and pepper. Warm a serving bowl in the microwave.

Put beans in warmed serving bowl.  Add the chopped nuts, then the olive oil mixture.


  1. This one is definitely a keeper. Light, fresh, flavorful. Love the ginger!

  2. I'm going to try these tonight, as ginger and lemon are some of my favorite bright flavors.