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Friday, July 15, 2011

50 Women Game-Changers in Food - #6 Marcella Hazan - Cold Herb-Flavored Marinated Green Beans



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Marcella Hazan holds sixth place on the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women Game-Changers in food. Her name is well known to lovers of Italian food and her six best-selling cookbooks make her as important to Italian cooking as Julia Child is to French. She is credited with introducing American cooks to Italian regional food and ending the red sauce siege of American kitchens. Her background is very interesting. She was born in Egypt and survived the German occupation of Italy during World War II. As a young woman, she was a biology teacher whose credentials were supported by two doctoral degrees. Her interest in cooking did not begin until her marriage to an Italian-American. Much like Julia Child, she learned to cook in order to please her husband. She had no need or desire to cook in Italy, and had they remained there, we would never have heard her voice. Despite a lack of formal training, she had taste memories that she was able to translate to the Italian food she prepared for her husband in their American kitchen. Fortunately, she recorded her recipes and began to teach regional Italian cooking from her kitchen in New York City. She was discovered by Craig Claiborne, who was instrumental in finding a publisher for her first book, and Julia Child helped walk her through the vagaries of the New York publishing scene. She appears to be a woman of strong conviction but one without affectation. She considers herself to be a home cook and is offended by attempts to label her a gourmet, an expression she believes is pretentious.

Marcella and her husband, Victor, now live in Florida. Jaden Hair recently did a charming interview with the couple who are both now in their eighties. The interview can be found on Jaden's blog, Steamy Kitchen, which you can access here.

Selecting recipes that represent the work of the women who appear on the Gourmet list can be daunting. In all cases, I've made a conscious effort to choose recipes that can easily be made in home kitchens. One of Marcella's gifts to her readers is the balance of the herbs and spices she uses in her recipes. That gift is evident in today's recipe for marinated green beans. These are nothing like the ubiquitous bean salad that appears at potlucks and picnics. I really liked these. I hope you will too.

Cold Herb-Flavored Marinated Green Beans...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Marcella Hazan

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 pound green beans
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste (Kosher or sea salt)
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Choose a large bowl and place parsley, basil, oregano and vinegar in it. let it steep for 10 minutes. Add onion and garlic and mix well. Let steep for another 30 minutes.
2) Snap off ends of green beans, rinse in cold water, and drop them into boiling salt water. Drain string beans while still very firm. Add warm green beans to bowl with vinegar and herbs. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour and as much as 5 or 6 hours. Mix thoroughly from time-to-time. Serve beans at room temperature, adding olive oil and salt and pepper to taste just before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

The following bloggers are also paying tribute to Marcella this week. I hope you'll visit all of them.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Poland Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen

Next week we will highlight the food and recipes of Madhur Jaffrey. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information. Everyone is welcome.

54 comments :

Jenn said...

I love these 50 Women posts! I have learned so much about such amazing women. I bet these beans are DEE-licious!

Katie said...

Mary--The combination of spices used on these green beans sound just fantastic. I love the idea of picking recipes to highlight that your readers can easily recreate. I also learned a little more about Marcella based on your biography! Thanks for organizing all of us!

Elaine said...

Mary, this is such a beautiful platter of green beans! I really enjoyed reading about Marcella Hazan and now I want to go out and get some of her cookbooks.

Ginny said...

Unusual recipe, would be very nice to take on a picnic!

Anna A. said...

I love this recipe! Fresh herbs marinated veggies are my kind of story. Also love the 50 Women posts. Good stuff :-)

Au and Target said...

Yum! Love the look of these beans.

We've got a new kitten. Come and take a look?

dr.antony said...

Looks lovely ! Color perfect!

tandysinclair.com said...

I am finding this so interesting! Thanks for sharing :) Have a perfect weekend Mary :)

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Nice looking beans full of flavor and what an interesting post.

Alessandra said...

Beautiful dish, and I know of Marcella Hazan, which is good, I though I was doing pretty poorly in the list of the 50 :-).

Ciao
A.

Rettabug said...

Mary, this recipe sounds like it will taste EXACTLY like the green beans we enjoyed in Italy a few years ago. I've been trying & trying to duplicate that flavor ever since. I cannot WAIT to try this combination of flavors!

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Your photo is outstanding, as always.

fondly,
Rett

bellini said...

Marcella Hazan definitely deserves to be high up on the list. Her cookbooks are the bible of Italian of cooking. Great post Mary!!!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds great Mary and I have the beans and herbs in the garden:@)

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

They look so good. I love green beans cold and marinated, such good flavor.

StephenC said...

Love the look of this. Peter and I have joked over the years that Marcella, notoriously fussy, would start a recipe for tuna with the instruction "charter a fishing boat."

Susan........ said...

I recently purchased two of her best selling and best loved books. Can not wait to devour both of them.

From the Kitchen said...

Marcella is my Italian Ina! I've never failed to please when using her recipes. Five of her cookbooks reside with me. The sixth one has disappeared. Hmmm!?

Best,
Bonnie

Kim said...

These fresh grean bean looks perfect with these herbs. Looks perfect for summer with fish or chicken!

Lenia said...

What a simple and healthy idea!They look delicious!

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

Hello Mary! I love the fact that you are consciously choosing recipes that can easily be made at home. this dish looks like something we here in Turkey can easily make!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Mary, I am really enjoying learning about these 50 Women Game-Changers. There have been a few I did not know, including Marcella Hazan. What an amazing woman! Her childhood, being a teacher with two doctoral degrees and then number six on the list! Wow! Plus, I love this recipe! Thank you so much for choosing this one! blessings ~ tanna

polwig said...

Thank you for introducing me to Marcella Hazan, personally I never heard of her maybe because I am not a big fan of italian cooking. If I knew it looked like this: fresh veggies and herbs I would have liked it a lot more.

girlichef said...

These green beans sound so amazing...simple, delicious flavors...so Marcella. I'm heading over to check out that interview, I did not know about it...thank you!

Epicurea said...

your beans look absolutely stunning and great intro to marcella! and thanks so much for letting me part of this wonderful tribute series.

Pam said...

Beautiful presentation! Love the look and sound of these green beans.

Sutapa said...

Wow! This herb pressed beans are delicious.. a very unique and creative recipe!!

Jeanette said...

Mary - these beans look so good - I am definitely going to make these this summer. Thanks for sharing such interesting background information about Marcella Hazan.

That Girl said...

Don't we all learn to cook to please our husbands? ;-p

Miranda said...

Who knew a platter of green beans could look/taste so good. Loved your words about Marcella!

claire gallam said...

I love these posts, they are so inspiration!! And what a great dish!

A Year on the Grill said...

MAry, thank you so much for the series. As you can imagine, after we get past Julia and just a hand full of the others, these are all new to me. I appreciate the back ground and a place to go hunting for more information.

Keep it up!

Dave

Wendy Irene said...

I love how you organized the green and yellow on the platter. It looks so beautiful that way. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Kim said...

I've heard of Marcela Hazan, but haven't spent much time looking at her books. After reading all of today's posts I am going to the library in search of her books. Your green beans look amazing! They'd be a huge hit at my house.

Food Glorious Food! said...

Not common from where I live but sure will give this pretty recipe a try :) have a great weekend!

Becki (Becki's Whole Life) said...

These sound absolutely delicious Mary. I have made Marcella's Tomato Sauce a few times and its divine! Jaden's interview was so sweet, too..Jaden shared a steak recipe with rosemary that I think came from her meeting with Marcella which sounded wonderful, too. Thanks for sharing this! My farm stand usually has some beautiful green beans so I am going to make this.

Rettabug said...

Oh Mary...I've come RUNNING back over to your blog to tell you...THIS IS IT!!! This is the flavor I've been searching for since before 911 occurred.
I had tried & tried to get the mild yet flavorful green beans that they served along the Autostrade in all of Italy. We toured from top to bottom & I swear I ate them at every rest area's stop. They served them at room temperature. You've brought back some wonderful memories of that trip.

I made these for tonight's supper & they are marinating as I type. Even without any EVOO or S&P yet, I can tell they are PERFECT! It must be the white wine vinegar that is so mild. I had tried using balsamic (dark & white) & I tried red wine & I tried champagne vinegar. I also never got the exact combination of herbs like this has. I'd used thyme once & rosemary only once. None of those attempts matched the flavor I remembered.

Thank you, thank you for posting this today. Now I'm off to see if I can buy some of Marcella Hazan's books.

Mega grateful hugs,
Rett

alexandra grecco said...

I will definitely try the green bean recipe - looks wonderful!
xo
Alexandra

Gloria said...

I love this Mary! look delicious! gloria

Junia said...

love the idea of marinating green beans! i usually just steam them :). and what a wonderful tribute to women! have a great week!

Rosita Vargas said...

Me encantan las judías verdes es mi plato preferido,luce muy delicioso,abrazos y bendiciones.

Pacheco Patty said...

I really like this recipe and it's a beauty;-)
Interesting story and information about Marcella Hazan, I like this famous women chefs series. We are surrounded by so many talented women in the kitchen, I'm always impressed by all their creativity, thanks for doing this series;-)

Claudia said...

I always turn to Marcella for a simple pasta recipe - that is always elevated. I forget to check out her vegetables. So sill of me.

Susan Lindquist said...

Excellent and timely choice for the tribute to Marcella Hazan! Like a wonderful addition to an antipasta platter! Simple and tasty!

yummychunklet said...

These beans look so pretty! Love the alternating colors!

Merisi in Vienna said...

My first "real" cookbook was Ada Boni's "Tesoro della Cucina". As a newlywed, moving from Rome to the States, it was what a called my "food memory bank". Julia Child and Marzella Hazan were the perfect teachers to help translate my Italian food memories into meals I tried to prepare in my American kitchen. I still own the first Marcella Hazan cookbook I bought: the "First Paperback Publication" of "The Classic Italian Cookbook", by Ballentine books, with the beautiful cover illustration by Susan Gaber.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Mary - Marcella is a legend and her first cookbooks have a place of honor in my kitchen - they're stained and dog-eared and they're perfect, just like these beans. These are the kinds of beans I grew up eating.

Mary said...

Sutapa, I was unable to comment on your blog, but I wanted you to know how beautiful your drink is. The color is delightful. I hope you have a great ay. Blessings...Mary

David said...

Mary, Thanks for passing on this recipe using fresh green and yellow beans! I love them done like this. Nice twist on what we've been doing... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Kathy said...

What a fantastic summer way to serve green beans. They seem so light and delicious! Love marinated veggies! Enjoyed cooking along this week. Thank you!

scrambledhenfruit said...

This is a wonderful series you're doing Mary- I'm learning so much! Those beans look beautiful. :)

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

Marcela Hazan is one of my favorites. I love that these green beans can be made ahead. Great picnic food.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

With lots of blossoms on my yellow bean plants, I'd love to try this when I have enough to pick. The flavors sound wonderful!

Deb in Hawaii said...

These beans are so perfect and so gorgeous on the plate! ;-)

SundayAtTheGiacometti's said...

I just had to respond to this post. Marcella Hazan is fabulous Italian cook whose book can teach anyone what real italian food is all about and how to cook it. One of my first cookbooks given to me by a dear friend, it always sits nearest the kitchen as a quick re reference and should in any kitchen as a reminder of what Italian food is really about, simplicity. Buon Appetito~

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