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Asparagus and beans…

January 27, 2017


Asparagus is in season and will be at the market tomorrow!  After waiting all year, this is our first harvest of asparagus for the season and it couldn’t be better.  We just had some for dinner and it is so tender and flavorful. To cook, all it needs is a few minutes in a shallow pan of boiling water with a little olive oil and lemon and a pinch of sea salt.

And, tomorrow at the Scottsdale market, Mary will be sampling Paris Bistro Beans.  This recipe was originally posted on the blog five years ago, but it is worth repeating.  Paris Bistro Beans are definitely the prettiest and they have incredible flavor.

Paris Bistro Beans

1 cup Paris Bistro beans
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 ham hock (you can find this in the meat section of the grocery store)
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (without salt)
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups kale or spinach, chopped
salt & pepper

Pre-soak the beans overnight before cooking.

Wash beans in a large bowl of water and discard any beans that float to the top. Place beans in a strainer and rinse well.

Place beans, garlic, onion, celery and broth into a crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours, until tender.  You may add the ham hock for additional flavor.  These may also be made on the stovetop in a large pot kept on low heat.  In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add olive oil, tomato and kale or spinach. Season with salt and pepper only after beans are fully cooked.  Remove the ham hock before serving.

-To make this more of a soup, add more broth at the beginning of cooking.
-You can find ham hocks in the meat section of the grocery store. Score the sides of it a few times, to help release the ham meat from the bone. You do not need to cut the meat off of the bone. Remove the bone after cooking.
-To make this dish vegetarian, skip the ham hock and use vegetable broth.

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