The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

July 10, 2013

Amanda Stone: Gardens producing varied veggies with perfect timing

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Serendipity is happening in our gardens and farmers markets right now. Green beans, onions and new potatoes are each ready to harvest at the same time. No wonder they come together so perfectly. It's as nature intended.

There is a beautiful abundance of green beans in my garden. I was pretty proud that my little green bean darlings were producing like mad.

At first.

At this point, I don't get quite as excited about the prospect of stooping over to search for the beans, which are so excellent at camouflaging their long, skinny bodies.

After getting my fill of traditional boiled green beans, new potatoes, onions and bacon, I started searching for new possibilities for my green bean bounty. My life is forever changed. I look at my green bean plants with new appreciation. I would be delighted to pick green beans eternally because of the delicious possibilities.

Green beans also go by the name string beans or snap beans because of the labor involved in eating them. The string has been bred out of most varieties, thank goodness. The snap is still necessary though, in order to pop off the stem. They come in the pole or bush variety. I thought bush beans made more sense until I recently saw a friend's pole beans winding up their cage in her garden. The vines were so pretty and would make more efficient use of space in my small garden. Next year.

We don't have to boil the poor things to death in order to make them yummy. We don't even have to use bacon. Gasp! Fresh green beans are crisp and delicious on their own or served alongside carrots, celery, sugar snap peas and dips. They are amazing when sauteed in butter and garlic for just a few minutes -- just long enough for them to retain a bit of their snap. Pickled green beans are a pleasant surprise in a bloody mary.

Snap some green beans from your garden or the farmers market for these recipes.


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