Green Butter Beans

She waved the rockmelon in front of the man in the apron like it was a weapon. “Excuse me,” she said imperiously, “where is this from?”
The man in the apron, who looked well-used to dealing with questions delivered in this manner, smiled kindly at her and said, “Australia, madam”.
“Thank goodness,” she said, sweeping past me as if I was a carton of bruised apples. “As long as it’s not from Argentina or somewhere.”
I looked at the man in the apron and we shared a moment of amused complicity. Then I went and gathered up a bagful of illicit round beans – also from Australia – and put them in my basket with some olives from Greece and some lettuces from up the coast. Like Mrs Rockmelon, I try very hard not to buy any imported fruit and vegetables but it’s hard staying on the straight and narrow.
The beans we are buying at the moment are stupidly expensive and I hate to think when they were picked, but once you’ve tried them like this you’ll be buying them too. Unless, of course, you do live in Australia, in which case you are probably craving something grown somewhere else.

Green beans with butter
This isn’t really a recipe, more an admition of guilt. All you do is blanch some green beans (which you have diligently topped and tailed, if you are me, but not if you’re my husband), then drop a good tablespoon or so of unsalted butter into the pot. Let it melt and grind over lots of salt and pepper. Eat immediately. Use olive oil if you’re not eating these straight away because as lovely as butter is, it’s not so good when congealed.

Are you guilty of breaching the 100-mile barrier when it comes to food? What’s your favourite out-of-season treat?



  1. October 10, 2012 / 12:19 am

    I have been cooking this for years, I toss the butter until it becomes a delicious green sauce and it makes the beans thoroughly delicious 🙂

  2. October 10, 2012 / 2:29 am

    I just bought a pomegranate from America. Can't resist those wet, tart crunchy seeds on a garden salad.

    My green bean seeds have just popped their heads up out of the potting mix. When they are ready to pick I'll give you a potful to ease your guilt.

  3. October 10, 2012 / 6:09 pm

    Oh the shame – breaking the locavore rules. I really do resist fresh vege from overseas which is stupid because my pantry is full of tinned goods that are imported not to mention all the spices and other goodies. Go figure :o)

  4. October 14, 2012 / 5:55 am

    All sorts of goodies from Sabato which I rationalise by trying to by veg & fruit locally….except for bananas & pineapple but I do try for Fairtrade 🙂

  5. October 14, 2012 / 5:55 am

    All sorts of goodies from Sabato which I rationalise by trying to by veg & fruit locally….except for bananas & pineapple but I do try for Fairtrade 🙂

  6. October 16, 2012 / 5:27 am

    i try to eat locally to support our farmers (hello from tasmania)but last week i was faced with the choice of chinese garlic or spanish garlic. not a local in sight. hola! – i chose spanish as i'd read something scary about contaminated chinese soil.

  7. November 14, 2012 / 3:40 am

    It can be quite a dilemna, can't it. I try it pretty hard to keep it local for fresh veg and fruit, but I do make an exception for the occasional tropical fruit treats (mango, pineapple, papaya) as I rationalise that they're things we don't produce in NZ anyway. And I do have to confess to other imports like olives, tinned beans and chickpeas, parmesan, etc.

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