Dilled Green Beans

Green beansYields 4 pints.

2 pounds small, tender green beans
4 large heads dill
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 small red chili peppers
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup salt

Heat together water, vinegar, salt and cayenne pepper to make a brine. Wash beans. Snap off ends to fit in the jar. Pack beans into hot, sterilized jars. To each pint add one clove garlic, one head dill and one red pepper. Bring brine to a boil and pour over beans.

Follow USDA instructions for canning pickled green beans. Wait six weeks before eating.

We thank Janet French for this recipe.

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About Green Beans

Green beansLike most vegetables, green beans are low in calories (43 per cup) but pack lots of fiber and nutrients. A cup’s worth provides about 25 percent of your daily supply of vitamin K and 20 percent of vitamin C, as well as manganese, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.

Some Ways to Use Green Beans

  • Toss freshly boiled or steamed green beans with soy sauce, sesame oil, extra-virgin olive oil, pesto, lemon juice, Italian dressing, or vinaigrette.
  • Munch raw beans with various dips. Kids like these as a finger food!
  • Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs over steamed or boiled green beans; dill or mint are pleasant surprises with green beans.
  • Stir-fry or sauté green beans with a mixture of peanut or sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, chili paste, sugar, salt, and pepper for Szechuan-style beans.
  • Drop a handful into stir-fries at the last minute to add flavor and crunch. (This works best with young, tender beans.)
  • Serve salade niçoise, that hearty, traditional cold salad with tuna, hardboiled eggs, olives, and green beans. There’s nothing better for supper on a warm summer evening.
  • Prepare your green beans southern-style — cook them slowly in lots of water with a ham hock or piece of pork fatback, and finish off with a dose of vinegar and a dash of hot pepper sauce. But remember: the longer they are cooked, the less nutrients they have.
  • Add interest to cooked green beans by tossing them with a light vinaigrette and slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts.
  • Create a colorful vegetable julienne with green and yellow string beans, carrot strips, golden beets, and red or orange bell pepper strips steamed or boiled briefly.
  • Pickle green beans for a crunchy, juicy change from regular cuke pickles.
  • Green beans go well with just about every sort of nut and nut oil. Try ’em with walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamias. They’re also great with dried fruits like cranberries and cherries.

We thank Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe, for these ideas.

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Vegetable Tempura

The Carrot over the Stick

Raw veggies are absolutely lovely, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up with tempura for a special occasion.

Serves four to six as an appetizer.

Dipping Sauce
2 scallions, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Batter
2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup dark sesame oil

Veggies
5 cups seasonal fresh veggies, such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, etc.

For the dipping sauce, combine the scallions, soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, and mustard in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors blend.

For the batter, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add the cold water and sesame oil all at once and whisk until the consistency of pancake batter and very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to prepare the tempura.

Blot the vegetables dry, season with salt and pepper and dip into the batter. Coat them evenly.

Pour the oil into a tall pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat until around 350 degrees F. Work in batches to avoid crowding. Slip the batter-coated vegetables into the hot oil, deep-frying until the batter is a golden brown and puffy, 3-4 minutes. Turn the veggies so they cook evenly. Remove from the pot with tongs. Drain on an absorbent towel. Serve with dipping sauce.

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Spicy Kale – Purple Bean Parmesan

purple beans

Purple beans have a vibrant color when raw, and turn green when cooked.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1/4 pound mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 pound purple beans, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, rinsed, stemmed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, or until the purple beans have turned bright green. Add the wine and continue cooking until beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and kale and continue cooking until kale has wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately. Serves 2-3.

We thank foodnetwork.com for this recipe.

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Fresh Green Bean Saute

1 pound green beans, rinsed, ends snapped off
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped organic red bell pepper
2 tablespoons bacon grease (or 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash ground black pepper

Melt bacon grease/butter-oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

We thank
The Pioneer Woman for this recipe. She definitely preferred the bacon grease. Said it added flavor. We agree!

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Pickled Mixed Vegetables

Makes 5-6 quarts

Prolific cucumbers

Pickling isn’t just for cucumbers anymore.

1 large head cauliflower
4 ribs celery
1 dozen small pickling cucumbers
8 small carrots
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
8 small pearl onions
16 cloves garlic
1 pound green beans
10 cup vinegar
6 cup water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
4 teaspoons dill seed
4 teaspoons mustard seed

Sterilize jars. Break cauliflower into small florets; cook in boiling water 5 minutes; drain. Cut remaining vegetables into bite-sized pieces and mix in a big bowl. Mix the vinegar, water, salt, celery, dill and mustard seed to make brine and heat over medium. Pack hot jars with random vegetables, bring brine to a boil and fill to 1/2” head space. Follow the USDA recommendation for processing pickled mixed vegetables.

We thank Stocking Up for this recipe.

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