Blistered Beans & Fennel

beansMy favorite summer bean is the Fortex Green Bean, an Italian heirloom. The bean has no string, so is extra tender and has wonderful flavor. Besides that, with its 8-12 inch length that tends to swirl a bit on the vine, it’s interesting to look at and fun to cook! You can do anything with these beans that you would do with other green beans, but this is my favorite way to cook them.

Blistered Fortex Beans with Fennel

Slice a fennel bulb lengthwise into strips and wash and snap the ends of the beans (the end that attaches to the vine that is–leave the pointy end alone!).

Heat a skillet on medium high and add 1 Tbsp. of oil (I use olive oil, but some may prefer another oil that handles high heats better).

Add fennel and cook for about 5-7 minutes until fennel begins to wilt and brown.

Add beans and cover, cooking another 5 minutes, stirring to flip half way through which lets the beans blacken as they cook. But turn down heat if they are burning! And if necessary, add more oil when you add the beans to keep them from burning and reduce your heat a bit.

Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Option I: Add some sliced tromboncini squash when you add the beans for a great bean/fennel/squash medley. I’ve added them to dish pictured above.

Option II: Steam all this with about 1/3 c. of water instead of using oil. When fennel and beans are tender move to serving dish and drizzle with olive oil or butter before serving. The beans and fennel won’t blacken this way, but they will be very tasty just the same.fortex

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  • Just curious how the fortex green bean stands up to canning. Does it stay firm or does it get mushy, like a french style green bean? I usually grow blue lake, but I seem to be getting a lot of contaminated and cross pollinated seeds lately so I was looking for a new variety.

    • I’ve only eaten Fortex beans fresh–partly because they are long and beautiful and I don’t want to cut them up for canning. I can the Blue Lake pole beans, and haven’t had any troubles with them. Since Fortex are stringless they might get mushy, but then again, they might not! Good luck!

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