Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Year Without Peas and Peaches - July 3, 2014

This Summer has been nothing compared to the year before but the heat came upon us much more quickly.  This meant no peas and lots of beautiful bean plants that still have no beans.  My fellow community gardeners are unfortunately experiencing the same thing.  Meanwhile, we went to pick blueberries at Reed Family Orchard last weekend and they informed us there will be no peaches this year due to last winter's freezing temps.  What a bummer. 

So far, I haven't seen peas or peaches being brought in from elsewhere, but some folks must be growing hot house beans or have another trick because we have still been able to get yellow and green beans at the farmer's market and local stores.  This year I was tired of the same old Southern beans and potatoes so we branched out a bit.  My first attempt was to toss beans, apricot slices and shallots in olive oil, salt and pepper.  I then added sliced watermelon rind pickle and tossed on a cookie sheet.  I put it all in the oven at 350 degrees until I saw a bit of browning and the beans weren't squeaky and tossed with sliced almonds when I took it out.  It was a great combination.

My second bean experiment was French.  It is basically a French Dijon dressing on beans and can be eaten warm or cold.  Here it is:

French Green Bean Salad

2 T. chopped shallot
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 minced garlic clove
1 lb. green beans (trimmed)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. chopped capers
1 T. chopped parsley

Combine shallot, vinegar and garlic and allow to sit.  Boil water and toss in beans to cook.  Add remaining ingredients to vinegar mixture.  When beans are cooked through, drain and add dressing while warm.  Serve hot or at room temp.

My final and I think favorite bean recipe this month was the simplest.  It has a great lemon taste and is easy to prepare.  Best of all, you don't need an hour to cook these beans before you eat.  I hope you like it:

Spicy Beans with Lemon

 3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 sliced shallot
1 sliced garlic clove
1/2 tsp. dried red chili flakes
1/2 lemon
olive oil

Add 1/2 T. of oil to frying pan and heat on med-high.  Toss in beans, shallots, garlic and chili and cook one minute.  Cover and lower heat and cook until soft about 3-5 minutes.  Remove lid and cook until liquid is gone.  Season with salt and squeeze lemon juice on top.  Serve warm.