So in spite of the bugs, rabbits, and mold spores, our greens and beans have fared well this year. Suddenly, we are
filling our refrigerator and our plates with ample helpings of each. Here are a few ways we like to eat beans and greens here at the farm:
1. Sauteed: I love this combination for any vegetable out of the garden: heat olive oil on medium heat, add pressed fresh garlic cloves to taste and saute. Toss in veggies, a couple of pinches of Kosher or sea salt, a few twists of the pepper grinder, and you are set. Saute them until just cooked so they are still a bit crisp and bright in color.
2. Marinated: Growing up, my mom would take green beans, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes then toss them in a bowl with oil, vinegar, herbs and lemon juice then let them sit for several hours. By the time we had dinner, they were delightfully tasteful. Sometimes, I do the same with greens–instead of waiting to dress them at the last minute, I pour a light dressing on them and let them sit while I cook dinner.
3. Roasted: Roasted green beans can be prepared with the same combination of ingredients noted under “sauteed.” I’ve never tried roasting any leaves of greens, but I just realized that the soft part of rainbow chard stalks would be beautifully roasted additions to a plate.
4. Southern style: I know, it’s not the healthiest way, but here’s how to cook them so they have similar flavor but aren’t as fattening. Needless to say, they lose more vitamin content the longer they are cooked, but sometimes, a girl’s gotta have her Granny’s beans, greens, sliced tomatoes and corn on the cob. For the beans, fill a pot with enough water to cover the beans. I like to add some bullion or chicken stock to add flavor without needing “fatback.” (Yes, I said it!) I add turkey bacon instead of regular–2 slices. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for at least an hour or until soft. If you do not use bullion or chicken stock, you’ll need to add some salt to taste. As for greens–do the same thing, but they won’t nearly need as long to cook unless you just like ’em that way.
5. Dehydrated: Ok, so I’ve not tried with beans, but I make the best kale chips in my dehydrator. Seriously! Take
your kale, cut it up into chip size pieces or just leave them as small leaves. Put in a bowl and lightly (I mean “lightly”) drizzle with olive oil. I sprinkle a bit of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning on it then put in the dehydrator. When the chips are crisp, they are ready to eat.
6. Pickled: To give beans their due while the kale is dehydrating, I make dill pickle beans. I have a friend who loves them so I made some for her one year with some of the extra dill pickle solution I’d made. They were a hit! And, they are beautiful if you use the tri-color bush beans–purple, green and yellow.
7.. Chopped: One of my favorite thing to do in Spring or Summer is to take any veggies, olives, cheeses in my fridge and make a big chopped salad. I cut beans up into smaller pieces and slice greens into thin strands.
8. Egged: My gluten-free body can’t do crust so I make a crustless quiche or frittata. If I add beans, I chop up in little pieces and blanch before adding to the recipe. My favorite combination though is chard, dried tomatoes (see my blog on drying tomatoes), artichoke hearts, and feta or goat cheese.
And sometimes, the easiest and best way to enjoy them is munching on them straight out of the garden while I’m working on the farm. My daughter thinks I’m crazy just picking a big chard leaf and taking a bite, but I figure if it’s good for the rest of the critters in creation, then I’m all about it!