Saturday, September 4, 2010

Garden Overflow - Part I

Over the weekend, I started harvesting my pole beans. I plant two different kinds - the standard Kentucky Wonder and an heirloom variety, Rattlesnake Pole Beans. I get the Rattlesnakes from a friend who grows them and saves the seeds each year. I like to plant both varieties together and see what happens. Well, this year, what happened was a big crop!
Bringing in the goods.
Even after I shared some of the harvest with my neighbors, I still had a lot of beans. While I like to say that I've never met a vegetable I didn't like, my kids, unfortunately, do not have this same attachment to green things. This means I have three options: steam and freeze, give some to friends, or make a big batch of something that will last a while in the fridge and continue to improve in flavor over time (and take it for lunch all week). Luckily, I found Sheila Lukins's Three Bean Salad with Lemony Dressing from her U.S.A. Cookbook (1997, Workman Publishing). I mostly follow her recipe...

First you, clean, snap and steam a pound of beans. Then rinse them under cold water so they stop cooking.
These are the Rattlesnakes, aren't they gorgeous?
Unfortunately, they do lose the purple streaks after they are cooked.
Then you whip up a dressing of lemon juice and zest, dijon mustard, a little sugar, salt and pepper, and whisk in some olive oil. Put the green beans in a big bowl and add two other kinds of beans - I use red kidney beans and chick peas. To that you add some finely diced onion or scallions and parsley. Pour the dressing over the top and stir to combine.

I love how the dressing makes the salad glisten. It's sooo good!

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