Mary’s Kitchen: Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans

Mary’s Kitchen: Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans

Mary’s Kitchen is seeing green beans (and yellow) everywhere! Afterall, July is the season for beans!

It’s been a weekend in my kitchen. I picked up 20 pounds of mixed organic beans. I spent all Sunday morning processing them. But before I tell you about that, remember the local organic zucchini I picked up last weekend?

zucchini fries
Zucchini Fries made with organic local zucchini

I’ve been seeing lots of recipes on Pinterest for vegetable fries – green beans, yellow beans, carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes. A great healthy alternative to traditional fries. Also an excellent way to get your veggies in. So I thought I give that a try and make some Zucchini Fries! The recipe was pretty basic; cut the zucchini into small strips, coat with egg, toss with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, season and bake. Simple enough for a work night dinner. Turned out pretty tasty, I thought. My husband wasn’t wild about them but he’s not much of a zucchini eater. I’ll make it again. Maybe next time I’ll change up the seasonings a bit.

I still had one small zucchini to do something with though…I’ll tell you what I did with that one after my beans-story.

I had also picked up a small handful of fresh green beans last weekend. Those I sauteed with a large clove of smashes garlic for another quick work week dinner. Now my husband LOVES green beans, so that side dish was a huge success.

Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans
Organic beans straight off the local farmer’s truck!

This Saturday I could only make a quick stop at a local farmers’ market. I had made arrangements with a Certified Organic farmer to pick up a whole bunch of yellow and green beans before the market opened. This is why it pays to know your farmer! Not only do you know exactly what you are buying and eating, but you can also sometimes get special accommodations 🙂 From another farmer I know, I got naturally grown local cherry tomatoes and blueberries. And lastly I picked up a bunch of fresh dill. That’s it; just a real quick stop at the market.

(If you want to learn more about what qualifies a product as Organic or Certified Organic, check out my blog What is “Organic”? )

When I got home later that day, I did exactly the same thing with the blueberries and cherry tomatoes that I had done the previous week. I put the blueberries in the freezer to enjoy later in the year. The cherry tomatoes were dehydrated to be used later as well.

Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans
Three Bean Salad with local organic yellow and green beans!

I’ve been craving Three-Bean Salad. It is Summer, nothing says Summer more than a salad! So decided I’d use some of the fresh beans for that. The perfect light side dish for our simple I’m-To-Tired-To-Cook dinner. All the recipes I have though call for canned beans; I wanted to use my fresh goodies. So I quickly blanched a handful each of the yellow and green beans for my salad.

(In case you are not familiar with the term “blanch”, it means to quickly par-boil and then plunge the vegetable into ice water to stop the cooking process. It is used in freezing but also comes in handy when making side dishes.)

Chop up some onion – I used a red onion – add vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and that’s it! Easy!! Delicious Three Bean Salad made with fresh local organic green and yellow beans 🙂

(UPDATE: I posted the recipe for my Farm Fresh Three Bean Salad here on my website!)

That was it for me on Saturday. It had been a full day and I knew I had another full day ahead of me.

Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans
Pickled spicy Dilly Beans! Cannot wait to try these in 6 weeks

Blanching & Pickling In-Season Green Beans

The next day was designated as Bean Day 😀 Well…at least half the day would be spent processing the rest of my organic green and yellow beans. A self-proclaimed Queen of The Kitchen Multi-Tasker, I snapped beans while enjoying my morning coffee and watching the news! Half of the beans were snapped into bite size pieces. The other half were left whole.

Years ago I used to can pickles but could never get them to stay crunchy. They tasted delicious, however they were always soggy no matter what I did. So I gave up on making them. Not to be a quitter though I decided to give Dilly Beans a try! After looking through a couple online recipes, I found one that had a bit of spice to it. Perfect! Fresh flowering dill heads, cloves of garlic, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, dill seeds and crushed red pepper flakes.

I cannot wait to try them!!! I hope I can be patient for 6-8 weeks.

These will be a wonderful treat during the cold winter months

I blanched and froze the remaining whole beans and the bite size ones I snapped. Certainly not enough to keep us supplied in green and yellow beans for the year. But it is satisfying to know that “I did that!” and they will be a welcome treat in the cold winter months.

Quick! Make quick bread!

That left me with the one lone organic zucchini from the previous week. I still hadn’t done anything with that.

Yummy freshly made Carrot-Zucchini Bread

I opted to make a quick bread. We had plenty of cage free eggs from our hens that needed to be used. I also had some organic carrots my husband picked up at a local grocery store. Searched online and…Carrot Zucchini Whole Wheat Bread! I doubled the recipe and got to use my new cast iron bread pans.

You guessed it. Those loaves will go into the freezer 🙂

 

Did my day in the kitchen inspire you? I’d love to learn what you do with the fresh local yellow and green beans you get! Please your comments in the section below.

And remember…if cooking veggies is not your strong suit, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics! You’ll get weekly emails to help you in the kitchen for an entire year. That’s 52 ways I can help you 🙂

 

Leave a reply