People who know me would tell you that it's hard to tell which I like more: gardening or cooking. I'd say it depends on which I'm doing at the moment. Anyway, French cooking and French gardening go hand in hand. For me, cooking is an on-going adventure. Join me here on my culinary explorations, where I share with you both my old favorites as well as new inspirations. It's my fondest wish that these recipes serve as a springboard for your own new creations.
11/08/2001 Ragout of Romano beans and wild mushrooms (Râgout de haricots coco plats et de champignons sauvages melangés)
For 6 servings: 2 T. butter or extra virgin olive oil 2 shallots, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 lb. Romano or other flat pole beans, topped, tailed, and cut in half on the diagonal 2 lbs. mixed wild mushrooms (cepes, chanterelles, lobster, oyster, stropharia, meadow agaricus, etc.), cleaned and sliced. 1 T. minced fresh herbs, including thyme, and marjoram and savory if available 2 T. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Fall is wild mushroom season in France, which has a long, mild autumn. But even in the U.S., wild mushrooms are beginning to be more wildly--oops, I mean widely--available, especially in specialty supermarkets. Take advantage of them to make this easy, delicious ragout, bursting with fresh, earthy flavors. It's a perfect accompaniment to chicken and fish as well as beef. Vegetarians can enjoy it over a bowl of fresh pasta or rice and may enjoy adding some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
Bring a medium sized saucepan full of water to a boil. Toss in some sea salt and the beans. Boil, uncovered, until they are barely tender. Drain immediately and refresh briefly under cold water.
Heat the oil or butter in a large enameled castiron or copper saucepan over low-medium heat. Toss in the minced shallot, stirring constantly until pale gold. Toss in the garlic and 1 tablespoon minced mixed herbs, and stir for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and toss gently, raising the heat slightly. Continue cooking, uncovered, until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally and gently. Toss in the beans, combine carefully, and continue cooking just until the beans are heated through. Sprinkle in the parsley and correct the seasoning. Serve immediately.