Going Nuts For Fresh String Beans

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - February 25, 2009
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Army Community Theatre presents the Hawaii premiere of Curtains, the latest Kander and Ebb Broadway hit comedy, which opens Feb. 26 for a three-week run with Vanita Rae Smith and Grace Bell Humerickhouse directing and Peter Rucci serving as musical director. The cast includes Tina Shelton, who spent decades as a TV anchor and reporter, and has been in the spotlight for such ACT shows as Camelot, Guys and Dolls and Once Upon a Mattress; Lenny Klompus, the senior communications adviser to Gov. Linda Lingle, who pairs up hilariously with Shelton; Tom Holowach, who’s been in Camelot and heads up Paliku Theatre, where he starred in Love Letters; and Shanan Colvin, who starred in the Elton John musical Aida.


 

The play is set in a Boston theater, where a leading lady is murdered under the watchful eye of the musical’s over-thetop flamboyant director.

I would like to dedicate this recipe to all the fabulous folks at ACT’s Richardson Theatre. Call 438-4480 for ticket information.

This side dish is good with just about any main dish entrée. It is easily prepared ahead of time; trim the beans the night before and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Store fresh beans unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will keep for about three days. You also may freeze fresh beans if you blanch them for about four minutes. They can be frozen with good results for about six months.

Fresh beans are said to be diuretic and to cleanse the blood and protect against infection. Raw beans are a good source of potassium and folic acid, and contain vitamin C, magnesium, thiamine, iron, vitamin A and niacin, as well as traces of copper, calcium and phosphorus.

CRUNCHY ALMOND STRING BEANS WITH PINE NUTS

* 2 teaspoons canola oil
* 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
* 2 pounds fresh string beans
* 1/3 cup vegetable broth (low sodium and no MSG added)
* 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* salt, to taste


Wash string beans, cut ends off and cut in thirds.

In saute pan, heat oil and spread until bottom of pan is coated with oil. Add almonds and stir around until they brown slightly, add green beans and cook, stirring to combine with nuts. Pour in vegetable broth, cover and cook for about 12 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.

While beans are cooking, put pine nuts on a baking pan in toaster oven at 400 degrees, and heat until pine nuts are toasted, being careful not to burn them.

Add salt and pepper to string beans, and stir to combine. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes longer until liquid is evaporated. Put into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Makes eight servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 135
Fat: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: about 100 milligrams, depending on how much salt is added

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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