Pillars of light

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.

- Mary Oliver, "In Blackwater Woods"

Another back-to-school photo. Two girls in university: one in fourth year and one in first. I am so proud of my two young women.

On this last weekend of summer/first weekend of fall, I have to share one of my favourite recipes from the summer. These wonderful roasted green beans with cremini mushrooms are a classic. I made them the first weekend the fresh local green beans showed up in the farmers' market, and I'll be making them until they're gone.

Roasted Green Beans and Cremini Mushrooms with Rosemary-Garlic oil
(from Fast, Fresh & Green, by Susie Middleton)


10 ounces/285 grams cremini mushrooms (quartered if large, halved if small)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (first amount)
Kosher salt
12 ounces/340 grams green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (second amount)
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (third amount)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, toss the mushrooms thoroughly with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread out the mushrooms in one layer, cut side down, on one end of the sheet pan. (They can be close together.) Toss the green beans with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread the green beans out in one layer on the rest of the pan. Roast until the green beans are shrunken and very wrinkled, and the mushrooms are tender, shrunken, and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the remaining 4 tsp oil in a small nonstick skillet along with the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once the oil starts bubbling, cook for 1 minute to infuse the oil with the flavours and to soften the garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit while the vegetables finish cooking.

Transfer the cooked vegetables to a mixing bowl. Scrape the seasoned oil out of the skillet and over the vegetables; toss thoroughly. Transfer to a serving platter or dinner plates.


Gloria Baker said...

Beautiful post and beautiful girls you can be proud :)
Love yours Roasted green beans Beth !

Gloria Baker said...

Beautiful post and beautiful girls you can be proud :)
Love yours Roasted green beans Beth !

Valerie Gamine said...

Mary Oliver's words are like a warm blanket that I want to wrap myself up with & never remove. Gorgeous words. And, as usual, your recipes make me crave veggies + savoury things, instead of sweets!

Julie said...

What a beautiful post! Your girls are so lovely! Lots to be proud of.

Deb said...

Mary Oliver and and an awesome recipe! Thanks Beth!

We Are Not Martha said...

Green beans with mushrooms is one of my all-time favorite side dishes!


Angie's Recipes said...

I just had a large portion of green beans for the lunch too. I love the combination of mushrooms and beans..it certainly looks very delicious and healthy.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved the picture of your girls. This recipe sounds like one I must try. Thanks.

Katerina said...

Congratulations to your two daughters! The one with the flowered dress looks exactly like you! The beans and mushrooms sound perfect to me!

Beth said...

Thanks, Katerina! People tell me that quite a lot, which is obviously a huge compliment to me! Hope you have a great day.

Marcela said...

what a lovely photo! Congratulations to your two daughters! They look like you! :)

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

First, your girls are lovely! It's so hard for me to believe that my own little girl will be in university one day, but I know it'll come sooner than I think! Second, I looooove cremini mushrooms but I rarely cook with them because neither my husband nor my daughter are big mushroom fans. This is one of those dishes I'd gobble up at your house, since I don't usually treat myself to mushroom-y foods at home. =)

Unknown said...

Farmers' market green beans are the best! I also love roasting them - I don't think many people think to do that. SO flavorful!

Tricia Buice said...

How wonderful! You should be proud and they are so beautiful. What a wonderful year :) Love green beans and this recipe :)

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Beth, beautiful girls - what a stunning picture! And, yes, the Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms look exactly like the type of vegetable dish that I adore so much!
What a lovely post dear friend!
All the best,

Unknown said...

Wow I am so happy to stumble across your blog. As the babysitter to dear Emily and Rachel when they were (3 and 6 months?) it's amazing to see them all grown up and at university. Congrats to all of you and lots and lots of love!

Joanne said...

Good luck to the girls on an exciting year ahead!! And this is absolutely my kind of side dish. Delicious!

grace said...

oh no, beth! your beans have been tainted with mushrooms! i guess i'll let it slide, as i like everything else about the dish. your girls are lovely! :)

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

LOVE the look of your beans! And I'm happy to eat all of Bill's mushrooms :)
P.S. Your girls are beauties.

Beth said...

Thanks, Liz! I think so too!
And Grace, I love everything about you but I still can't figure out why you don't like mushrooms!

Beth said...

Amy, so nice to hear from you! Do you remember coming to the Nutcracker with us one Christmas? You were a world-class babysitter and the girls loved you. I'll be in touch!

Monica said...

All the best to your girls! I can see how you must be so proud of them. : )
Great looking beans, too! : )

handmade by amalia said...

Your daughters are lovely, Beth. and I liked the poem.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Beautiful poem (and timely for me too of course). Great picture--makes me think of the kindergarten first day of school pictures. Loaded with green beans right now too!

Mary @ The World Is A Book said...

What a beautiful poem that's so fitting for your two beautiful girls. Good luck to them on another school year. My husband and son love green beans and one of these days I need to try this recipe. Thanks Beth!

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

I have such problems with that let it go part! Beautiful girls, Beth! And love these green beans!

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

I have such problems with that let it go part! Beautiful girls, Beth! And love these green beans!

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