Steaming is a great way to cook green beans and maintain their beautiful green color. In all cases, the beans are being cooked by the heat of steam from boiling water. The moist and relatively gentle heat cooks the beans evenly, softening their hearty texture while allowing them to hold onto their impressive levels of vitamin K (as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, and iron).
The green color of the beans stays fresh and crisp by steaming them beans first and then cooling them off in ice water.
Fennel seeds are amazing. Not only do they smell wonderful, they also contain a lot of anti-oxidants, fiber, minerals, essential oil compounds and vitamins.
There is a great way to use any leftovers: cut the beans in smaller pieces and mix them with short noodles (I prefer macaroni) for a hearty Italian pasta dish.
- 1 lp fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
- 1/2 large red onion or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp extra vergin olive oil
- Sea salt
- In a mortar, grind the fennel seeds.
- Bring about an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a pot into which your steamer basket or insert fits. Put green beans in the steamer basket, set over the boiling water, cover, and steam until tender to the bite, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove steamer basket and pour the beans in a bucket with ice water to keep the fresh green color.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the fennel seeds and onions for 3-4 minutes over medium heat while stirring.
- Mix in the tomato paste and the water and cook for 4 minutes on low heat until most of the water has evaporated.
- Stir in the beans, cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.