Monthly Archives: September 2015

Green beans can get dressed up or down

Green beans are not tomatoes, with odes written to document their glory.
They offer not juicy sweetness, like summer peaches and plums and berries of all sorts.
They aren’t even cucumbers, so willing to cool us off and add a bit of crunch to salads.
Yet they are prolific.
“Green beans” is, to my mind, a general term. Sure, it might mean the straight and very long Blue Lakes. But similar beans come in pale yellow and deep purple. And there are aptly named long beans, delicately skinny haricots verts and thick romano beans.
Green beans most commonly are steamed to crisp-tender and dressed with a pat or two of butter and sprinkle of salt – and I’d be the last person to argue against such a treatment.

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Huckleberries brighten muffins and more

My husband, a California native, describes the act of eating a huckleberry as a small moment of bliss. He grew up foraging for the tiny, dark-purple-blue berries in the cool, foggy summer climes for which coastal Northern California is known.
One September day, we spent a long afternoon plucking huckleberries from the bushes that grow thick and wild. Then we made dozens of jars of jam that we gave to friends.
Huckleberries look and taste a lot like blueberries, which can be substituted in recipes if you can’t find huckleberries – fresh or frozen – in Houston.
The berries are tiny but pack a tart punch of concentrated flavor. They also are high in antioxidants, vitamins C and B, and iron.

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Calendar of events

WINE
Bandol wine dinner: At Étoile Cuisine et Bar, 1101-11 Uptown Park; 7 p.m. Tuesday; $98; 832-668-5808.
Rhone Valley wine tasting: At Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 5839 Westheimer; 5:30 p.m. Friday; $95; 713-780-7352.
Grenache wines with Spec’s Bear Dalton: At L’Alliance Française, 427 Lovett; 7 p.m. Monday; $60 ($63.16 with credit card); 713-854-7855 or coburn2@gmail.com.
Vietti wine dinner with Elena Currado: At Da Marco, 1520 Westheimer; Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; $250 plus tax and gratuity; 713-807-8857.
Domaine Rouge Bleu wine dinner: At Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial; 7 p.m. Sept. 22; $65 plus tax and gratuity; 713-827-8008 or bistro_provence@sbcglobal.net.

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