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2 Quick, Fresh Side Dishes with One Really Odd Ingredient

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I discovered 2 great new things from Chris and Patty at Mainly Mushrooms.  Have I mentioned them before?  I think I have.  :-)

When I went for my bi-weekly (give or take) mushroom purchase, they tossed in a bag of ramps – aka wild leeks – and these weird green things called sea beans.  The ramps I could handle – they’re more or less akin to a leek in flavor but they are super cute and little.  The sea beans?  My new secret flavor ingredient.  These succulent plants, found during Chris’s foraging excursions, grow in marshes or along beaches.  They look totally bizarre (you can Google them now) and weedy but have this wonderful natural sea salt flavor with a green bean-like crunch.  It was a nice change to the traditional salt and pepper seasoning on our Father’s Day potatoes.

We also picked up some crisp green beans with some greenhouse tomatoes and our favorite criminis for a tangy green bean side dish to accompany Hubby’s Father’s Day ribs.  Nothing better than fresh vegetables – no need for fancy sauces or flavorings.

Pan-Roasted Potatoes with Ramps and Sea Beans
2 large baking potatoes, diced
1/2 cup ramps or onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sea beans, chopped (or add salt and pepper to taste after cooking potatoes)
Drizzle of olive oil

Heat a non-stick skillet with 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium high heat.  Add potatoes and cook until golden brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.  Remove to a bowl and top with ramps, sea beans, and drizzle with olive oil.

Tangy Green Beans and Portabella Mushrooms
8 oz. green beans, ends trimmed
1 tomato, seeded and diced
5 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Have ready a large bowl with ice and water.

Boil 3 cups of water in a large skillet; add green beans.  Blanch beans for 3 minutes until crisp-tender (they will turn bright green).  Use tongs to remove beans to the ice water bath and stop the cooking.  Empty the skillet and dry with a paper towel.

Heat 1 T olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms and saute until just tender; add the green beans, lemon juice and pepper flakes.  Saute until beans are just heated through; season with salt and pepper.  Remove to a bowl and toss with tomatoes.


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