Throughout the growing season, we'll interview local farmers, chefs and other food lovers about seasonal cooking. Have a question? Email it to food writer Sarah Baker Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A pile of dark purple beans caught my eye at the midweek market at the Charles Drew Health Center last week.
Stephanie Olson, who was working at the Gene's Green Thumb stand, told me they were burgundy beans, which are purple on the outside and green inside. The purple pods turn green when cooked.
She said she likes them both raw as a snack and cooked in stir-fries. She also said the dark beans have more nutrients than regular green beans.
I also picked up a pint of white wax beans at the booth. Cooks can use both in this week's recipe, which lends Indian flavors to the beans and pairs them with quinoa, crunchy almonds and seasonal basil.
Gene's Green Thumb will have the beans for sale the next few weeks at the Charles Drew market on 29th and Grant Streets from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays; the Papillion Market, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at Washington and First Streets; the Saturday morning market in downtown Omaha; and the Sunday morning Aksarben Village market.
Indian-Spiced Beans with Quinoa
1 cup black or regular quinoa
½ pound fresh beans, wax, green or burgundy
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
¼ cups slivered almonds, toasted
2 whole basil leaves, thinly sliced
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
Bring another pot of salted water to a boil and add the beans. Cook for 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and throw into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Bring the oil to medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the onions and saute until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, turmeric and cayenne. Bloom the spices another minute. Add the blanched beans, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 1 more minute.
Serve beans over a helping of the black quinoa and garnish with almonds and basil.
— Recipe adapted from tastykitchen.com