What are Romano beans?
If you’ve never tasted Romano beans, you’re in for a treat!
These broad, flat pods are similar to green snapping beans – you eat the entire pod and cook them the same way. But Romano beans are even sweeter and more tender than the common green bean.
These succulent beans are in season from late spring to mid-fall. Look for them at your local farmers’ market or gourmet greengrocer.
Grow your own Romano beans! A sunny patch of ground and 2 months’ time is all you need.
And if you have a sunny patch in your backyard, I encourage you to plant some. Romano beans are one of the most rewarding crops, producing vigorous plants that are loaded with the gorgeous pods within 2 months of seeding.
Here the sweetness of the delicious Romanos is accentuated by the mellowness of the shallots. The butter coats the beans with an irresistible creaminess while the chives add a bit of savoriness to the dish.
These simply prepared Romano beans make a terrific and versatile side dish – one that’ll make you come back for seconds… and possibly thirds!
Romano beans with butter, shallots and chives
active time: 30 min
- 1 tablespoon sea salt for the blanching water
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) Romano beans or green beans – trimmed and cut on the diagonal in 2″ pieces (6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 shallots – skinned, quartered and thinly sliced (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup spring water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bunch fresh chives – cut in 1/2″ pieces (use kitchen scissors) (1/4 cup)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Step 1: Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans. Blanch the beans for 4 minutes until tender but still a little crunchy (if using green beans, blanch for 3 minutes only). Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath until cool. Drain on clean kitchen towel. Pat dry and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
- Cook’s note: The beans can be prepared to this point up to 4 hours ahead. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Step 2: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and shallots. Sauté for 2 minutes until the shallots have softened and begin to turn pale-golden. Add the beans and water. Toss well and sauté for 1 minute until the beans are warmed through. Add the butter, chives, salt and pepper and toss well until the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat. Transfer to a platter or large bowl and serve immediately.