Green beans are among the early summer crops that have flourished in my garden, thanks to frequent rain, Georgia heat and daily weeding-as-therapy sessions. The purple string bean bounty has me sifting through vegetable-centric cookbooks for creative ways to manage this veggie of the moment.
Cara Mangini offers a handful of simple yet flavorful preparations for string beans in “The Vegetable Butcher” (Workman, 2016), including Summer Bean Ragout. The thick French stew traditionally holds meat, poultry or fish, and may or may not include vegetables. Mangini opts for a vegetarian mix of beans, thickened with fresh tomatoes and enlivened with garlic, jalapeno, fresh herbs and white wine. If it had eggplant, zucchini, onions and sweet peppers, we could slap a ratatouille label on it. If it had potatoes and feta crumbles, it’d be more like a Greek fasolakia.