Buttered String Beans {Fasolka Szparagowa}

 

Living in Hawaii has gotten me stuck on cooking a lot of light, summery dishes. Unlike most of the world, where November translates to eating a lot of hot soups and stews, we’re trying to stay cool in this endless summer state by eating a lot of fresh salads and light vegetable based dishes.

 Today, I’m cooking string beans, a dish that can be eaten on it’s own or a side dish for dinner. Guaranteed hit with kids too, and we all know how hard it is to get them eat their vegetables.

String beans are very popular in Poland. A lot of people grow their own garden vegetables in a small garden in the back yard, or utilize city-owned garden plots, called “działki”. They are about a quarter of an acre “big” normally located just on the outskirts of large city (or sometimes right in the middle of it). Anyone can get one from the city, under the condition that they will be utilized. Grass must be trimmed, and overall appearance must be kept up. No piles of trash, etc. The “owner” can build a small summer home on it, and if need-be sell the rights to it to whomever may be interested. The new “owner” however is just purchasing the right to use it, as the city is still the owner of the land.

My grandma and grandpa on my mom’s side, Stasia and Kazimierz, had one just behind their home. There was a huge sour cherry tree on it, a couple plum trees, apple tree that gave enough fruit to make preserves and juices for the whole year. Every little bit of it was utilized, providing fresh veggies through the summer, and pickled once throughout the rest of the year. Cucumbers, beans, onions, herbs, carrots, parsnips, raspberries, garlic ware just a few. They required a lot of work, but my grandparents could not function without it. Water had to have been carried from the house, as there was no water hose there, a distance of about 150 yards, yet it was never dry. Life plans were made around it, as you can never be away too long.

I loved spending time there, impatiently waiting for berries to ripen, sometimes eating strawberries that were half white… or plums that were half green. Making faces from the sour fruit, still reaching for more (only if grandma wasn’t watching).

Buttered String Beans {Fasolka Szparagowa}

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • About 20 oz of string beans
  • 1/4 cups of bread crumbs
  • 3 tsp of butter
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Wash string beans and cut off ends. Boil until tender (no cheating and using canned beans, it will not taste good) for about 10-12 min in salted water. I like mine with a little crunch. Drain, place in a serving bowl cover to keep warm.

  2. Place the bread crumbs in a small pan (no butter yet) and toast them until golden brown. Watch them closely and stir often, they like to burn fast. When they reach the desired golden brown color add butter and stir until melted. It should be bubbly and quite watery. If you feel the mixture is too dry, add an extra teaspoon of butter.

  3. Poor mixture over hot string beans and serve.

Notes

The same rich buttery topping works well on boiled cauliflower or brussels sprouts. You will be hooked, guaranteed!

Let me know how it turned out in comments below. Always curious what you think.

Smacznego!

Anna

ps. I just served them to my 10 year old and her little friend. He was hesitant, but she convinced him to try some. I just overheard him say “Your mom made beans actually taste good”. My work is done.

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