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Posts Tagged ‘green beans’

©StephenKolyer_dragontonguebeans

            Last summer I picked up some dragon tongue beans at the farmers market after the farmer told me that they were the best beans he had ever tasted.  I bought a pound or so and you know what, they were also the most flavorful beans I had ever experienced.  But, I also forgot about them until I saw them last week at the Barryville Farmers Market.  I immediately bought a couple of pounds.  The first round was simply steamed to garnish a Niçoise salad on a hot summer night, but then the last few handfuls were sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with ½ cup of diced pancetta and a couple of cloves of minced garlic.  They were so delicious and meaty they would have satisfied me as my main course.

 

Dragon_Tongue_Beans_DSC_1530

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When my buddy Lynn and I stopped at the farm stand the other day, the beans looked so bright and fresh that we bought too many – as usual.  First on the list of things to do with them was a simple salad for dinner that evening.  I mixed the green and yellow and added a diced red onion (also bought too many of those!) and brought the mix to a quick simmer – just enough to tenderize the beans a bit.  Then, I drained them, put them back in the pan while still hot, added some bacon fat (from the store I keep in the fridge), a little herb vinegar (Chirat brand – Kressi Kräuter, Weinessig mild gewürzt is the one I use), salt and pepper and gave it a quick toss.  A delicious and easy veggie dish that works as a side or as a salad.

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Saw a great batch of green beans in the farmers market the other day that I couldn’t resist.  We had some for dinner, put some in a Salade Niçoise, and still had enough to pickle a couple of jars.  I hadn’t made pickled green beans for years but it is a simple recipe to execute and since I only put together a couple of jars I didn’t have to really worry about proper canning – I will just store them in the fridge as we will use them up quickly as a snack or side at dinner.  You can use this same recipe to pickle carrots or other vegetables, also.  It should yield about three 4-ounce jars.

2 pounds very fresh green beans (preferably organic) or

haricots vert, stem end  removed, well-washed

 1 cup white vinegar

¼ cup water

 ¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes or to taste

½ teaspoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

6 whole peeled garlic cloves

3 sprigs fresh dill

             Place the beans in a large pot of cold salted water.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Immediately remove from the heat, drain well, and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.

When cool, remove from the ice water and pat very dry.  Set aside.

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, chile flakes, and salt in a medium non-reactive pan over high heat.  Bring to a boil; then, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped dill.

Fit the beans into the jars, vertically.  Add 2 garlic cloves and 1 sprig of dill to each jar.  Then, pour the hot vinegar solution into each jar, covering the beans completely while leaving about a ¼ inch of headroom.  If you do not plan long storage, the beans may be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for up to a month or so.

If longer storage is desired, place the jars in a large pot or canner with a rack placed in the bottom.  Cover with cold water by at least 2 inches and place over high heat.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Boil, covered, for 10 minutes.

Using tongs, remove the jars from the canner and set aside on a wire rack to cool before storing.  May be stored for up to 1 year, but are best served within 6 months.

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