In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I had a little house on two acres in a rural area called Blue Jay on the Ohio/Indiana border. He had a huge garden and I did everything I could to keep up with the produce while still working full time. He planted way too much of everything but two vegetables I never tired of were Roma Green Beans and Yukon Gold potatoes. We had them several times a week during the summer and they were always delicious. My husband and his wonderful garden are gone now and I miss him and the baskets of produce he would carry into the kitchen every day (I don’t miss having to find a way to use all of that bounty).
David pointing out the progress of the Roma Green Beans in his garden
Yukon Gold potatoes were new at that time but now they are in the supermarkets. Roma Green Beans, however, are almost impossible to find but every Tuesday, my daughter and I go to a farm market in the historic section of Loveland, Ohio, where one farmer sells freshly picked, beautiful Roma beans. These beans are flat like snap peas, but larger and fuller.
We buy the beans on Tuesday and every Wednesday this summer have had a meal of Romas and Yukons plus a dessert made from whatever fruit looked good at the market. It’s a special meal for us.
I prepare the meal in the early afternoon and put it together quickly at suppertime. First, I put some Yukon potatoes (with skins) in cold water in a big steamer pan and place over medium high heat.
While the potatoes start to cook, I break the ends off the beans, break them in half and place them in a steamer which fits over the pot of potatoes.
I place a lid on top and steam the beans until fork tender. By the time the beans are done, the potatoes are usually also fork tender and I remove everything to cool until I’m ready to prepare supper.
To combine the two vegetables, I cut the potatoes in bite-size portions and brown in butter, sprinkling with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. When the potatoes are golden brown, I add the green beans with a little more salt/pepper and a couple of drizzles of olive oil. Stir and toss the vegetables until everything is piping hot – then serve immediately.
My daughter doesn’t like onions, but I love sliced onions sautéed in olive oil while I’m steaming the beans and potatoes and used as a topping when the meal is served.
This week, we had some good corn-on-the cob and muffins made from fresh blueberries (recipe here). A perfect summer meal.