Autumn is upon us, Lovers.
Who doesn't rhapsodize about this time of year?
leaves alive with ruby and amber,
the faint scent of wood stoves…
Apple picking, hayrides, All Hallow's delights.
Not to mention that it's Foxy-Boots-With-Coats-Season.
The colors and scents of Fall are incredibly sensual.
And yet, so many foods associated with this most delectable time just…aren't.
But sexy? Not so much.
So, decked out in Witchy Autumnal Finery, I set out to the farm market on a mission: Create seasonal dishes worthy of a goddess that wouldn't freak out the family if you brought them to, say, Thanksgiving.
Did you think I forgot the Equinox?
Beasties, come on.
The pagan holiday of Mabon occurs at the Autumnal Equinox, pronouncing the middle of harvest season, when light and dark are equal. It's really the pagan Thanksgiving if you will, a time to reap what we've sown, and give massive gratitude for all the blessings in our lives. We pause a bit to reflect on where we've been, and where we'd like to go in the coming seasons. Still-warm days and chilly nights encourage gorgeous moments, as the Sun falls into the arms of the Moon...
It's such a shiver of delight to decorate our kitchen altars with delights of the season, isn't it?
And here is my offering: a heated twist on a holiday standby, green beans, inspired by the bounty I scored in the photo above.
Pert, snappy green beans that usually end up limp and lifeless, drowning in a mushroom soup "casserole" and topped confusingly with crispy onions, or, even less appealing, in something called "succotash."
Not any more.
This menage a trois stars golden corn, crisp and juicy, with blackened green beans and toasted walnuts, all tangled up in warm Moroccan spices. The aroma alone will get you feeling frisky, and the taste-in all its buttery heat-will send you to heaven.
Sultry Autumn Green Beans
- 1 lb. organic green beans, trimmed
- 5 ears organic fresh corn (or 8 oz. frozen, if absolutely necessary)
- 1 C. walnuts
- 5 sage leaves
- 1/2 TBsp mustard seeds
- 1 TBsp cumin
- Dash cloves
- Dash turmeric
- Dash nutmeg
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter (olive oil or flaxseed based)
- Celtic salt
Spiral the olive oil into a sauté pan, and allow it to build it's heat on a low flame. Place your hand above. Do you feel it? Then it's time. Lay the sage leaves in the oil in a five pointed star pattern. We're gonna make some Kitchen Witch magic here...give deep thanks for all the gifts of the Cosmos, really seeing and feeling each beautiful one. Set your intention for the coming seasons. What is your wish? Now we're gonna cook it up.
Let them undulate in the oil a bit, then toss in the mustard seeds, and let them get to know each other.
Add in the green beans, and sprinkle the cumin, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Give them a good, slow toss...
Lid on, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast your walnuts in a little pan until they are browned and smelling heavenly. Husk the corn, and slice off the kernels into a bowl. When the green beans are fairly tender, add in the corn and walnuts. You may need a little more oil drizzle here if they appear dry. Toss.
Let it cook until the green beans appear to blacken a bit. They aren't charred-it is a combination of the beans picking up the spices in the oil and a slight caramelization of the natural sugars in the corn. The corn and walnuts really pick up the flavors...you are in for a treat! When they're ready, add a pat of vegan butter, and a good pinch of Celtic salt. One last toss, and you're there...
Oh, and don't forget-if You're bringing them to a relatives house, cook them into oblivion! *wicked laugh*
Enjoy them, my loves.
Blessed Mabon to you,
I am indeed so thankful for all of you in my heart,