The Recipes

Slow-Sautéed Green Beans, Before The Frost Comes

DSC_3498We’re in between the color and the cold right now.

DSC_3487

But no frost yet. So we still have flowers. Round two or three or four on the self-seeding calendulas.

DSC_3313

And we still have green beans. Yay. Rattlesnake pole beans. Double yay. Lucky we are that the trellis hasn’t blown over in this Nor ‘Easter whiffling past. But even if it had, I’d be out there picking through the vines on the ground.

photo-114

I can’t pick every day now, though, because the plants are flowering less and yielding less beans. It’s not efficient to spend time going up and down the row, squatting up and down to check every vine, if you’re not going to come away with much.

photo-116So when I do pick, some of the beans tend to be on the larger side. If they are really getting fat, I leave them, because the Rattlesnakes will eventually yield edible seeds. Some of them (see photo at right) are already plump and podding.

But if they are just a little bit beyond the filet-ish stage, I have my excuse for a slow-sauté. Every year I talk about slow-sautéed green beans on Sixburnersue. (Sorry.) I love the technique because it brings out the nutty, earthy, satisfying side of green beans, while adding the delicious side notes of aromatic veggies and herbs that cook in the pan, too. And though it certainly isn’t required, a bit of bacon, ham, or pancetta in the pan never hurts.

Last night I made a vegetarian version of one of these sautés with the Rattlesnakes, some shisito peppers, and shallots, and served it over polenta. But because my good camera is malfunctioning (it needs to be cleaned, but my car is also malfunctioning so getting to the camera shop is going to be tricky!), I don’t have a nice photo of the dish to show you. It is probably just as well, because while these beans are delicious, they aren’t the prettiest.

Of course, because I love the technique so much, I had to include it in Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories. So I thought I’d share that recipe (Slow Sauteed Green Beans with Shiitakes and Prosciutto) with you here, even though when I wrote it we were growing Kentucky Wonder and Fortex pole green beans, not Rattlesnakes. Now that I’ve discovered Rattlesnakes, there’s no going back. But any green bean (pole or bush), as long as it isn’t too thin, will work here.  Get out your skillet and go for it.

Slow-Sautéed Green Beans with Shiitakes and Prosciutto

Recipe copyright Susie Middleton from Fresh From the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories.

You won’t believe how crowded the pan is when you first load it up with all these veggies; but with this terrific (and straightforward) technique, the veggies will slowly soften, brown, and shrink into a delicious and tender tangle of deep flavor. The browning will start happening fast in the second half of cooking, but don’t jump the gun and stop the cooking too soon. Just stir more frequently and really let everything get a deep brown color for the most lovely flavor.

 Serves 4

________________________________________________________________

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons sherry or white balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound green beans, trimmed

7 to 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and halved (or quartered if large)

8 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into small (1- to 2-inch) pieces

4 medium sprigs fresh rosemary

Kosher salt

___________________________________________________________________

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and vinegar.

In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beans, mushrooms, garlic, prosciutto, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss well with tongs to coat. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the green beans have turned bright green, are beginning to turn brown, and have begun to lose their stiffness, 10 to 12 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring more frequently, until all the beans are very deeply browned (the mushrooms and garlic will be browned and tender, too), 15 to 17 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and taste a bean and a mushroom for salt. Season lightly if necessary (the mushrooms may have absorbed more of the salt). Stir in the maple-vinegar mixture. Remove the rosemary sprigs and transfer to a serving platter or plates. Eat right away.

Stuffing and Roasting a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Yes.

Totally out of character, I decided to stuff and roast a pumpkin. Totally in character, I decided to do this because someone gave me a very pretty pumpkin, one that seemed at first glance like it would be a more efficient holder-of-stuffing than a sugar pumpkin. Not that there’s anything wrong with sugar pumpkins. But, […]

Making Tomato Sauce While the Sun Shines

Until I moved to West Tisbury, the agricultural center of Martha’s Vineyard (that translates to small, rural town with many farms), I didn’t fully understand the origin of the expression “Making hay while the sun shines.” Now that I am surrounded by hay fields, I’ve learned to note the passing of warm weather months according […]

How to Cook a Pattypan, A Shisito, A Fairy Tale, A Fingerling

We’re growing a few fun and different veggies this year—in addition to the old favorites—just to keep things interesting. (Fun and different=Cute names, too!)  The most beautiful? This Bel Fiore Radicchio. The most trendy? Shisito peppers. Well, oops, apparently (according to this hysterical mock restaurant menu on Eater.com) this trend is now passé in certain […]

Two Favorite Potato Salad Recipes for Fourth of July

Our potatoes aren’t quite ready to harvest yet (usually some are by the Fourth of July), but that hasn’t stopped me from making potato salad. Yesterday I made one of our favorite recipes from Fresh From the Farm. Well, definitely one of Roy’s favorites and I think it is pretty darn swell, too. It’s called […]

What to Do with Those Garden Strawberries + A Gingery Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Not since my parents gave me my weekly 50-cent allowance to bike down to Jack’s Market and buy a stash of penny candy have I been quite this excited. Every morning when I head out to the strawberry patch, I keep looking around for someone to give me permission, or at least to charge me […]

How DO You Cook Those Japanese Baby Turnips, Anyway?

We are just coming to the end of our first-ever harvest of Tokyo turnips, aka Japanese baby turnips. They aren’t really babies, but they are really delicious and beautiful and tender and juicy. (The greens are delicate and tasty, too.) We’ve never grown them (or a similar variety called Hakurei that’s popular at farmers’ markets) […]

Super-Quick “Confetti” Greens + (Surprise!) Broccoli Leaves

Even if I do not, the hoop house loves this weather. Or I should say the hoop house greens do. They like the cold nights and the many daylight hours of fuzzy sunlight. “Fuzzy” means grey and overcast to me, so I am not so happy about it, especially because it is freakin’ windy here, […]