Romano Beans

Image of a bunch of Romano Beans on the countertopRomano Beans are in season, and we’ve got them from Brentwood in the market!
Romano beans are an Italian flat bean in the same family as the string bean. They’re broad and flat with a juicy, sweet flavor and great crunch. They come in green, yellow, and sometimes purple. They’re usually around four to six inches long and can get much larger at the peak of the season.

You can snack on these crunchy beans raw. And, they also taste delicious when cooked. Try them quickly blanched for crudités, charred on the grill, or slow-braised in a tasty broth so they plump up and soak up all that flavor. You can use them in any recipe that calls for green beans, snap beans, or other similarly crunchy veggies like sugar snap peas. They’ll keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Grilled Romano Beans With Garlic and Herbs
Adapted from New York Times Cooking
Yields 6 to 8 servings

There’s something about the high, dry heat of the fire and the gentle scent of smoke that heightens Romano Beans’ snap and natural sweetness. This recipe works best using a meshed grill basket, which lets enough fire through to char, and enough smoke through to perfume the beans.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 pounds Romano beans with ends snapped and strings removed
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh basil
Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh mint

Prep the grill
Build a hot wood (or charcoal) fire in your grill. If you’re using a gas grill, place a few hardwood chunks under the grate over one or two of the burners. Heat one burner on high heat and additional burners on medium heat, adjusting the heat as necessary.

Brush and oil the grill grate.

Make the dressing
Combine 1/4 cup oil and the garlic in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the garlic is fragrant but not browned (about 8 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool. Stir in red-pepper flakes, lemon zest, and parsley

Prep the beans
Place beans in a large bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season the beans with salt and pepper to taste. And, toss the beans to mix.

Grill the beans
Arrange the beans directly on the grill or in a wire grill basket. Grill the beans, turning them with the tongs until they are charred and crisp-tender (about 3 to 4 minutes). You may need to work in two batches.

Finish the dish
Return the hot beans to the mixing bowl and stir in the garlic-parsley oil. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and stir in the basil and mint leaves.

Serve immediately.


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