After a long and extra cold winter, it's finally garden time here in Maine! Pretty soon my kids will be picking peas, carrots, beets, radishes, etc... One vegetable in particular, the green bean, is quite generous and resilient. In fact, you basically have to pick beans every other day just to keep up and to prevent them from getting too large and tough in texture. A classic Maine recipe for pickled green beans is Dilly Beans, and I definitely recommend researching some recipes, but today I'm sharing a sweet and spicy way to dress up the ever-bearing green beans.
Some basics regarding growing green beans include:
1)Harvest all the mature beans, even the ones past their prime. This frees up the plant to continue production unencumbered by old and heavy bean pods.
2)Avoid harvesting in the rain. There is the potential for disease issues to arise.
3) Monitor your plants regularly and remove any diseased plants.
4)If disease issues do arise, wait at least 3 years before planting green beans again in that particular bed.
5. If you don't grow your own, please support your local farmer!
Sweet and Spicy Green Beans
1 LB Green Beans (4 Cups) chopped and de-stemmed
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Red Chili Paste**
2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
Tamari/Soy Sauce to taste
1 TBS Olive Oil
Oil for saute
Combine in a mixing bowl: red chili paste, maple syrup, olive oil and soy sauce. Set aside.
Over medium heat, lightly sauté garlic and green beans in your favorite oil, about 5 minutes. (I actually sauté the green beans first for about 3 minutes and then add the garlic. I do this mainly to preserve the garlic flavor, but also because garlic browns, and potentially burns, so quickly.)
Add sauce and gently simmer no more than 5 minutes.
Great appetizer or various meats or beans can be added for a main course. Serve over rice, paste, in a burrito....
**This recipe is probably too spicy for most kids, so get creative with the chili paste substitution.