Friday, July 31, 2009

Seasonal and weird

Brace yourself as we travel to a whole new realm of seasonal eating. Today, I present you the Green Bean Panini.

(I have The Twilight Zone running through my head: "You're traveling through another dimension...")

Alright, I'll admit. This is weird. Maybe not Twilight Zone weird, but still. What kind of crazy eats green beans on a sandwich?

This kind, that's who. And, believe it or not, these sandwiches are so good we've made them multiple times. This has become more than just a last-ditch effort at consuming a surplus of green beans. (Though that is how they started out.) Over the course of two summers, the Green Bean Panini (or, Beanini, if you want to abbreviate) has vaulted itself to the top of the pile: when there's green beans in the house, this is the first place we turn.

And it's easy. So easy. And it's not going to heat up your whole house. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, for this summer's miracle food, the key to happiness, the marvel of mankind, the... ok, ok, here's the recipe.

Green Bean Panini

First: Having a panini press is helpful (though not necessary) to the success of this sandwich. If you're lacking, simply do these up grilled-cheese style, in a frying pan with a little oil, turning carefully after about 5 minutes per side. Or, if you have one of those George Foreman lean mean grilling whatevers, you can use that. On with the recipe, then.

Bread. (Whole wheat is good, as is pumpernickle. Whatever you choose, it should be hearty.)

Cheese. (Our very favorite is Jarlsberg swiss.)

Some kind of fancy highfalutin mustard. Dijon, stoneground, whole grain, whatever. Just not that watery yellow crap.

Green beans, washed and trimmed. About 12-15 per sandwich, though it depends on the size of your bread.

Some slices of red onion

Those are the ingredients. First, give a small saucepan a spray (or a drizzle) of oil. Throw it on over medium heat, and put in the onions. Let them translucify, turning once or twice. Add the green beans, and about 1/4 cup of water. Cover, and let the beans steam for about three minutes. At this time, you should begin heating your panini press, and lay out your cheese, sliced bread, and mustard jar. When the beans are bright green, remove the lid from the pan (to evaporate any excess water) and arrange beans and onions on one slice of mustard-ed bread. Top with cheese. I'll let you decide what constitutes the proper amount of cheese. Top with a final slice of bread, and slide carefully into your panini press. Press until those oh-so-appetizing grill marks appear on the bread, and the cheese has become sufficiently oozy.

Take a bite, and be happy. See? Would I lie?


Kami said...

mmm, I am always looking for new and interesting things to panini-ify...everything just seems better as a panini, no? I love the "beanini"! I don't think I could get to John to go for it, though. It has two strikes against it: onions, and more veggies than protein. Maybe for me, though...

Kristina said...

Kami-- throw some ham on there and he'll never know what hit him. ;)

Becky said...

Oh! I am so hungry now!! What a great sounding sam'ich!

Emily said...

This sounds pretty appetizing acutally! I love doing crazy things with veggies! I love to go to the farmer's market and buy funny looking veggies that I've never seen or heard of before. Orange cauliflower? Purple carrots? Kohlrabi?! I'll definitely have to try this.

katherine mary said...

i LOVE paninis!!! what a fabulous idea to use beans. :) yummmmy!!

Kristina said...

Emily-- I'm with you on kohlrabi! I've actually never eaten it, but I'm super-tempted by this.

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