Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
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)
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.