Here in the Northeast, the summer growing season is in full swing. Green string beans can be found all over at farm stands, farmers' markets, in CSA boxes, and growing in backyard gardens.
Fresh green beans are a great source of health boosting nutrients. They're high in vitamins A and C, known antioxidants that help keep your immune system working properly. Green beans are also a great source of dietary fiber
, which both help to play a key role for healthy digestion.
During summer months, I love serving green beans tossed in a light, pesto. This recipe makes a great side dish and is perfect for pot lucks and summer picnics.
- 2 pounds cleaned, raw string beans (hard stems, removed)
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (any variety-center stem removed)
- 1 cup packed fresh kale (Lacinato works best)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2 Tablespoons shelled hemp hearts
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
To make the Pesto
Combine the basil leaves, kale, lemon juice, walnuts, hemp hearts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Slowly add in the olive oil until all the ingredients become blended and smooth.
Place the green beans in a sauce pan with a few inches of water to steam the beans. Cover the pot and boil for about 3 to 5 minutes until the beans are tender. Toss the beans in the pesto sauce. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
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