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My "O" Recipe--Green Beans with Pistachio

OvarianCancer.jpg

From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and help spread the word!
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We're at the end of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month--but I hope, not at the end of every woman's knowledge of her body. Every woman should be aware of the possibility that you, your sister, your friend may be sailing along comfortable in life, and then teetering on the edge of the unknown with a frightening diagnosis. Be aware, be vocal, be unafraid.

My previous post on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and the "O" Foods contest, is here:
http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/amy/archives/2008/09/o_foods_for_ova.html

This one's for Gina, who taught me that Sicilian does matter. *grin*

I love green beans, cooked just past crisp and not yet mushy--that perfect stage of tender but still fresh in texture. And I love pistachios, and the precious bottles of pale green pistachio oil I insist on dragging back from visits to Paris.

This is my go-to dish for dinner parties, as it can be prepared in advance, is unusual and yet 'safe" enough to appeal to most people (obviously, not for people with nut allergies). It goes with just about any main course or cuisine. And it's really delicious. Since there are so few ingredients, make sure they're of excellent quality--fresh oil, good nuts (preferably from Sicily), farmstand beans if you can get them. If you simply cannot get your hands on pistachio oil, you can substitute a really fragrant toasted hazelnut or walnut oil, and the appropriate nut. But please, do try to find pistachio oil, and good, fresh pistachios.

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Green Beans with Pistachio
Serves 6-8, can be doubled or tripled; or halved

2 lbs fresh green beans, rinsed, stems snipped off
2 Tbs. sweet butter
3 Tbs. pistachio oil
1/2 cup pistachios
salt and pepper

Generously salt a kettle of water, and add the beans. Bring to a light simmer, and cook beans until at the appropriate moment of doneness. You want them just soft to the bite, but not limp. Quickly drain and refresh under cold water, then pat dry.

While the beans are cooking, place the pistachios in a small ziploc. Smash them with a rolling pin, hammer, or whatever you have. Think of the financial crisis, your boss, your annoying but well-intentioned relative. Have fun. You want some just cracked, some finely ground, most somewhere in the middle.

In a large skillet, melt the butter, and then stir in the pistachios, letting them crisp for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat, mix in the oil, add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cooked, dried beans into the skillet, and toss to coat the beans with the nuts, oil and butter. Either serve, or refrigerate until needed. Can be warmed in the microwave.


Comments (2)

Well now here's a way I've never seen pistachios used. Sounds great! Thanks so much for participating :)

The green beans look delicious! I'm going to try the recipe too. Will start my hunt for pistachio oil now. :)

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