I began experimenting in the kitchen when I was ten years old. As I matured I enjoyed reading cookbooks, but the people I turned to most often for cooking advice and recipes were my mom and my Aunt Fran. I have mentioned my aunt in several previous posts. She loved feeding people and gathering the family together, entertaining almost effortlessly because she was so well organized. She had a talent for cooking vegetables. They were simply prepared but always very fresh and delicious. Sadly, she passed away last month. I now find myself ready to pick up the phone to tell her about a dish I have cooked, or how the garden is progressing, but then stop and remind myself that those days are now past. We gathered for a family dinner on Mother’s Day and one of my food assignments was a vegetable side dish. It seemed appropriate to make this dish of green beans with carrots, one of Aunt Fran’s recipes.
Green Beans with Carrots and Thyme
7 medium organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1-1/4 lbs. green beans, trimmed
6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Fill a 4-quart pot full of water. Add a bit of salt and bring to the boil. Add the carrots and boil 3-4 minutes until fork tender but not soft. Remove carrots from the pot, and save the water to cook the beans. Run carrots under cold water to stop the cooking. Return the water to the boil and add green beans. Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes until tender. Drain and run under cool water to stop cooking. Let the vegetables sit on paper towels to absorb excess water. In a saucepan combine oil and garlic. Turn heat to medium low and let cook to soften the garlic. Let the garlic become fragrant and slightly golden but do not burn. It should take 3-4 minutes. Place beans and carrots in a serving bowl. Pour oil and garlic over the vegetables and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serves 6-8.