From the Land 9.19

food for thought
full share: head lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green beans, okra, roasted peppers (spicy or mild), salad turnips, and arugula!

partial share: head lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and green beans

veg of the week

green beans: Phaseolus vulgaris

The green bean is the unripe fruit of specific varieties of the common bean that have been bred for texture and sweetness, and shares a common ancestor with the kidney, navy and black bean. Originally cultivated in Peru, the common bean was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, and spread throughout the Americas through migrating native tribes. Currently, large quantities of green beans are grown throughout France, Argentina, Iraq, and Mexico, but the largest producer is the US (60% of commercially available green beans).

uses: Green beans are delicious both raw and cooked. Rinse just prior to preparing and snap or cut off both ends. Steam and toss with dressing, cut and add to green salad, or saute lightly to preserve texture, flavor and nutrition.

nutrition: Green beans are as rich in carotenoids as brightly colored vegetables like carrots and tomatoes, but the standard bright orange color is unseen because of the concentrated chlorophyll beans contain. They are also high in antioxidants for immune system and cardiovascular health, and silicon for bone health and healthy formation of connective tissue. The carotenoid and flavonoid content, compounded by high quality fiber, also gives green beans lots of anti-inflammatory properties, reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and other inflammation-caused diseases.

to store: Fresh beans should be vibrant green and have a firm texture and crisp “snap” when broken. Store unwashed in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer, where they will keep for 7 days. They can also be blanched and frozen, though they slowly lose nutritional value and for this reason are best eaten within three months.


arugula, potato and green bean salad, with creamy walnut dressing
adapted from smitten kitchen
makes 4 large salads

  • 1/3 C walnuts
  • 1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 2 T white wine or other mild vinegar
  • 2 T plain yogurt
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T walnut oil
  • 3 oz baby arugula

Preheat oven to 375°. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop and set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a colander to drain and cool. Set aside.

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Return pan of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain.

Whisk together vinegar, yogurt, mustard and 1/2 t salt in a small bowl; season with pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Set dressing aside.

Arrange arugula, potatoes, and green beans on a platter. Season with remaining 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts; toss to coat.

chile relleno casserole
adapted from simply recipes
serves 8

  • 8 roasted peppers (bell peppers, poblano chiles, or banana peppers all work – depending on your spice preference)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
  • 1 C crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 t minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 12 eggs (*in a pinch you can use 8 eggs with a little milk)
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 C Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan, on medium. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Carefully peel and discard any remaining blackened skin off of the chilies. Cut off the stem ends, remove the seeds and discard. Set chiles aside on a layer of paper towels to dry.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8×12 inch baking dish (the tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water).

In a large bowl, mix chorizo, cotija, and oregano. Stuff chiles with sausage mixture and lay them on top of the tomato sauce in the pan. (Alternately, you can cut the chiles open and layer the chiles and sausage mixture.)

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle chiles with half of the jack or cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.

pickled green beans (refrigerator pickles)
adapted from my recipes
makes 1 pint

  • 5 oz green beans
  • 1 pint jar with lid
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 t coriander seeds
  • 1 small dried chile
  • 1/8 t black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 C cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt

Arrange beans vertically in pint jar to see how many fit. Remove beans and trim them to fit lengthwise in jars, leaving at least 1/2 inch empty space at top of jar. Arrange trimmed beans in jar.

Stuff garlic, coriander seeds, chile, peppercorns, and bay leaf around beans.

Bring vinegar, wine, sugar, and salt to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Pour mixture over beans. Screw on lid and let sit until cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 days or up to 6 months before eating.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s