Happy Garden Tuesday! I’ve seen a big shift in my garden this week. Some of my items are now past peak, such as the peas and the lettuce. Other items are just coming into their own, such as the zucchini and tomatoes. Mmm ... garden ripe tomatoes. And yet other items just keep on keeping on, such as the herbs and the beans.Lordly, do I have a boatload of beans in my garden. I planted only two varieties: Pole Beans and Bush Beans. I’m most familiar with pole bean varieties, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that I like the bush beans better! I’m making an assumption that bush beans get their name from their shape ... they spread out low in the garden vs. climbing up a trellis. The ones I grew have great flavor and they were, to my surprise, stringless! I staggered my plantings, just by a couple weeks, and I’m so glad that I did that. I’ve been enjoying their greenie goodness for a while now.So, when it comes to bean preparation, are you a tail kind of person? I’m a tail person. I leave them on.Off with their heads! Obviously, though, I do snap the heads off. I spent many an hour snapping beans when I was a kid. I actually like snapping beans. It’s quick, easy, and not messy at all. If I close my eyes, I can transport myself back in time to sitting in the back yard of my childhood home, sitting in a lawn chair, and snapping bean after bean with my mom. I used to make her laugh by belting out spiritual songs while we worked. I can still hear her laughter. Sure do miss her. Maybe that’s why I like beans so much.
Anyway, when it comes to beans, I like simple preparations best. A quick toss with olive oil and garlic is enough for me. My family, however, likes a bit of butter with theirs, so I’ve adapted my tastes for them.Gather a meals worth of beans. I just use my colander when I pick them ... makes prep and cleaning that much easier. Snap off the stems and rinse thoroughly.Add to a boiling pot of water, and boil for about 6 minutes. I always put a little dollop of olive oil after adding the beans. I don’t know why ... my mother did it so I do it. It does seem to keep the veggies bright green that way. Alternately, you could steam them.
NOTE: Here’s an old wives tale tip for boiling veggies: If it grows above ground, add it to boiling water. If it grows below ground, add it to the water and then bring it to a boil! Works for me!While the beans are a’boilin’, in a sauté pan, sauté a thinly sliced, not minced, clove of garlic in a combo of olive oil and butter. Saute it just enough to take the bite out of the garlic.Remove from the heat, and toss in the cooked beans. Season with sea salt if desired.
Serve! Beans fresh out of the garden are a real treat. It goes without saying that these are gluten free (uh, I just said it though.) I could make an entire meal just out of beans! YUM!