Posts Tagged green bean

Preserving the Harvest: Pickled Green Beans with Rosemary and Lemon

This summer, I’m giving myself a crash course in preserving the harvest. I’m grabbing up fresh produce whenever I can and am trying my best to preserve the spoils of summer. There is so much goodness to be had, and I want to do everything I can to make sure I can enjoy this summer produce throughout the rest of the year.

That being said, this past week I found myself with five pounds of fresh, local green beans. I happily devoured a bunch of the green beans, of course (steamed, pan fried with brown butter, tossed in this incredible potato salad), but I knew I wanted to save a good portion of them for mid-winter eating. Because, the sad reality is that green beans don’t grow all year round (at least, they don’t in Oregon). And since I’ve made a commitment to do my best to eat seasonally and locally, green beans aren’t something I tend to eat in the winter months. The good news is, however, that I can preserve some of the harvest so that I have a few green beans to snack on all year long.

I decided to go about preserving the green beans in two different ways.

First, I froze a bunch of them. This takes little to no time, and is a fantastic way to preserve this particular veggie. Essentially, all you have to do is quickly blanch the green beans in boiling water, rinse them with cold water, pat dry, and separate them into various ziplock baggies for freezing (For a full post & instructions on freezing green beans, see this tutorial). Frozen green beans are great additions soups, stews, stir fry, curries and more. I’m sure that frozen green beans could even be used for the infamous Thanksgiving side dish, green bean casserole. :)

Secondly, I made a big batch of pickled green beans. I came across this lovely recipe for pickled green beans with lemon and rosemary. The recipe was simple, the flavors sounded perfect, and so I made (and canned) a big batch of them. I have to wait 3 weeks until I open the pickled green beans, so I can’t actually tell you how they taste yet…but I will say that they look fantastic! And I can’t imagine that the combination of green beans, lemon, garlic, and rosemary would be bad. In fact, I’m quite positive that these green beans will be nothing short of amazing.

I am pleased to say that after my preserving efforts, I have 4 pints of pickled green beans and 3 freezer bags full of green beans. Neither method took much time or effort, and now I have a stash of green beans to get me through the winter. Green beans are one of my favorite summer veggies, and I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I’ll have some to carry me through the winter.

If you’re interested in preserving some of your summer bounty, please see this fantastic website, which has over 85 different recipes for canning and preserving all sorts of different fruits and vegetables. .

Pickled Green Beans with Rosemary and Lemon
(Adapted from Urban Spork)
Note: While I normally like to write my own recipes, I am still learning all the tricks of canning and pickling and so I stuck close to the original recipe.

4 pint sized jars with lids, sterilized

2 pounds green beans
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (or 8 small cloves)
8 small strips of lemon peel
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar (could use plain white vinegar as well)
3 Tablespoons pickling salt
2 Tablespoons sugar

Trim the ends of the green beans to fit inside the jars. Pack the green beans into the four jars and evenly divide garlic, lemon peels and rosemary among the jars.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot (canning or stock pot) of water to a boil.

In a medium pot, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-4 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Ladle the vinegar mixture into the jars, leaving a half inch of room at the top. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth, affix the lids and seals, and seal tightly. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Carefully remove with tongs and set aside to cool. Let sit in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks before opening.

A Trip to Las Vegas & Dijon Potato and Green Bean Salad

As I mentioned in my last post, this past week I was in Las Vegas for work. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking….“Suuuuuuure, she was there for work.” But, it’s true! I happened to be in Las Vegas, Nevada, selling books to Sociologists. True story. My reasons for being in Las Vegas were about as nerdy as they come.

Thankfully, it wasn’t all books and sociologists. I did bring the husband along with me, in an attempt to turn a work trip into a quasi-vacation. While I was working most of the time (and the husband was lounging poolside), I did manage to squeeze in a bit of fun. And by fun, I mean food. Whilst there, I managed to dine at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Il Mulino, Ellis Island Casino & Brewery ($7.99 steak dinner, which includes a beer!), The Henry (at the Cosmopolitan) and In-N-Out. There were a few other non-memorable meals, but you get the idea. We ate a lot and it was fantastic.

But now that I’m back home, I feel like I need to go to the gym for 18 hours a day. Or go on a cleanse. Or buy bigger pants. I just feel the need to do something. While I love traveling, it is hard to eat healthy on the road. I just miss (good quality) fresh vegetables when I’m on vacation. I’d like to pretend I came home from Vegas and immediately made a whole host of gorgeous vegetable dishes. I did no such thing. Rather, I had the husb order take-out Thai food and we collapsed on the couch in a relative stupor and caught up on Project Runway. I was comforted by the fact that my Panang curry did, in fact, contain some vegetables (so there!).

So then, since I just got home and I haven’t actually had a moment to cook anything yet, I’m going to tell you about a dish I made before my trip to Vegas (that I had every intention of posting before my trip. Oops!). This particular recipe doesn’t have anything to do with Vegas, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway.

I made a giant batch of this potato salad one evening to accompany some Olympic Provisions kielbasa the husb was grilling. I sometimes forget that there are only two of us in our household, and proceeded to make enough potato salad to feed an army. Thankfully, this turned out to be the best potato salad of all time, and so I was quite happy to eat potato salad for 3 days in a row. The salad is packed with flavor and the green beans give the salad a crunch that isn’t often found in standard potato salads. And while the recipe calls this a warm potato salad, I’ll let you in on a little secret: it tastes just as good when eaten cold. And now that I’m back from Vegas and can get back into the kitchen, I’m fixin to make another batch this weekend. I implore you to do the same.

I’d like to mention one last thing before I get to the recipe. I would like to thank my friends at Working Hands Farm for the potatoes and beans I used to make this salad. These guys are fantastic farmers (who also happen to be my friends). Their produce is a thing of beauty and their generosity is inspiring. I’ve eaten my weight in blueberries, daikon, cabbage, green (and purple!) beans, kale, chard, potatoes, squash, carrots, and more. And it’s all because of these guys! I can’t emphasize it enough: Working Hands Farm rules. For those of you who live in Portland, I strongly suggest you check out their CSA program. They offer various sized CSA boxes, and allow you the freedom to fill your own box at their pick-up site (SE 13th and Ankeny), so that you can decide what you’ll need and use for your family. They also made a fantastic video which promotes their Endless Summer CSA campaign, and you can watch that little gem right here.

And now for the recipe…

Warm Potato & Green Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
(Adapted from Dave Lieberman, via The Food Network)

3 pounds red potatoes
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 shallot, minced
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by at least a couple inches. Salt the water generously, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Cook green beans in the boiling water for 2 minutes (until they turn bright green). Remove from water and plunge into an ice bath (or rinse with cold water) to stop them from cooking any more.

In a mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients (except parsley) and whisk until smooth.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks (1 or 2 inches). Cut the green beans in half. Toss the potatoes and green beans with the dijon dressing. Once the mixture is combined, toss with chopped parsley. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately, while salad is still warm.