Italian Romano Beans with Peppers and Fennel

I look forward to our garden Romano beans all year long. They have a smooth, creamy texture, are very sweet, and are great stewed with tomato sauce. I also like them as a side dish with peppers. For the photo below I used our garden-fresh Jimmy Nardello frying peppers, which are thin skinned and very sweet, but you can use regular red bell peppers.

Italian Romano Beans with Peppers and Fennel
3 dozen Romano beans, rinsed and trimmed of their tops
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
6 Jimmy Nardello Italian frying peppers or 2 medium red bell peppers
1/2 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced or chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Begin by bringing a 4-quart pot full of water to the boil. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the water, then add the trimmed Romano beans. Boil for 5-7 minutes until the beans are tender. Drain and run beans under cold water. Place them in a paper towel-lined bowl to absorb some of the water. Cut the stems off the frying or bell peppers. Slice pepper lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into thick slices or chunks. Heat 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add peppers, cover, and let sauté for 3-4 minutes, then turn peppers. Cook a few more minutes until the peppers are fork tender. (Bell peppers will take a bit longer to cook.) Place Romano beans in a serving bowl. Pour the sauteed peppers and all of the remaining oil from the frying pan on top of the peppers. Toss. Add fennel, onion, remaining olive oil, and vinegar. Toss. Salt and pepper to taste, then add parsley and serve. Serves 4.

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