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Tuesday
Jul062010

The Green Bean Jumble

We are ardent lovers of the fresh green bean.  Frozen, canned or out of season green beans just don't fill the bill. The sweet and tender early green beans are beyond compare. The custom of serving green beans for fall and winter holiday dinners is just beyond me. The poor and somewhat tough beans are just so sub-par.

 For this reason, we enthusiastically plant as many green bean plants as our garden will accommodate.  Starts are selected from our trusted nursery & into the ground they go. There is a problem though. Beginning with our very first garden there has been a problem. The starts are routinely mislabeled. We plant the starts labeled "pole beans" next to fences and around the various bean trellises only to find weeks later that they are in fact bush beans and have no interest at all in climbing a trellis. The starts labeled "bush beans" are set out in rows. Weeks later the poor things send out delicate tendrils, begging for a place to climb. 

The solution to this problem?  Grow the starts from seed, right?  That has worked for several years.

This year however weirdness struck. The beans resulting from two packages labeled "Green Lake Pole Beans" and "Green Lake Bush Beans" have yielded the following jumble of beans. 

These plants are indeed climbers, but have yielded a what appears to be an Italian flat green bean. 

Some of the bush beans have presented us with what appear to be regular Blue Lake beans, soup beans that would be suitable for drying and a purple mottled bean that are a little tough.   They weren't what we expected, but they are ours now......

Recipes:

Green Beans with Olive Oil and Salt

1/2 # just picked, young green beans - stem end pinched off

Fruity extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt or Fleur de Sel

Bring a pot of water to a brisk boil. Add  one teaspoon of Kosher salt. Simmer beans until just tender. Drain well, toss with extra virgin olive oil & sprinkle with a little course salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Green Bean and Red Potato Salad

1/2 # fresh green beans - stem ends pinched off

1 # small red, gold or white new potatoes

1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup rice wine or champagne vinegar

1 tsp Kosher salt

Dressing:

1/4 cup (or more as needed) plain yogurt

3 TBL mayonnaise

1/2 - 1 tsp white pepper

Salt to taste

Bring a pot of water to a brisk boil; add a tsp. of Kosher salt & add beans, cooking until just tender. Remove beans from water. 

Cut the small potatoes into bite sized pieces & drop into the boiling water. Simmer until just tender. Drain well. 

Mix together the rice wine vinegar & salt. Pour vinegar mixture over the potatoes, onions & green beans. Stir well & allow at least 15 minutes for potatoes to absorb the vinegar mixture. Stir frequently. Stir together the dressing ingredients. Refrigerate the potato mixture & the dressing. When well chilled mix all together & serve. 

Really simple and really good!

 

 

 

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