Posts Tagged ‘veggies’

Quick Refrigerator Pickles: Szechuan Green Beans

The green beans have been quite prolific this year. We have a couple of pounds in the freezer and a couple of pounds in the refrigerator. This is the year I plan to experiment with more food-preserving techniques, so last year, I purchased “Put ‘em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling.” It’s full of wonderful ideas for enjoying fresh garden produce now and later.

Szechuan Pickled Green Beans
Szechuan Pickled Green Beans

This refrigerator-pickle recipe for Szechuan Green Beans intrigued me because it’s so simple. It doesn’t involve the scary-seeming boiling-water method that is generally used for canning vegetables for the relatively long term – a few months to a year. This recipe just requires covering blanched beans with a seasoned vinegary brine and keeping it in the fridge. It will last for a month and the flavor deepens every day. Yum.

Szechuan Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, washed, topped, and tailed
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, preferably Szechuan
  • 1 (1-inch) knob ginger, sliced into coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

Line several baking sheets with dish towels and set aside. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl or clean sink.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the beans into the water, no more than 1 pound at a time, and return to a boil. Blanch for 1 minute.

Scoop the beans out with a spider or slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice-water bath. Continue blanching in batches. Remove the beans from the ice bath with a slotted spoon and spread on the towel-covered baking sheets. Blot dry.

To make the pickles, pack the beans vertically in a quart jar.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Pour the hot brine over the beans to cover by 1/2 inch. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.

Refrigerate: Cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Szechuan Pickled Green Beans with Quiche and Tomatoes

Urban Farming: Last weekend’s haul

The manure Dan tilled into the garden this spring has made a huge difference in our yield so far this year. We pulled a bunch of onions to make room for basil, and the bell peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes are coming in nicely now.

Today I will be picking and preserving Anaheim peppers and making basil pesto for the freezer, as well as for us.

A basket full of yummies
Urban Farming: June 27, 2010

Roma tomatoes
2010 Romas

Anaheim peppers
2010 Anaheim peppers

Urban Farming: First Harvests of 2010

We have quite a bit going in the garden right now – several kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, tomatillos, onions, garlic, cantaloupe (an experiment) and lots of herbs.

These are a few pix of food we harvested earlier in the spring – we now have a couple pounds of shelled and blanched peas in the freezer, along with at least five pounds of blanched green beans. And of course, all that salad!

Our first peas!
Our first peas!

A couple pounds of beans
A couple pounds of beans

Bell pepper fell off – it was about 3 inches long, just enough for Dan’s salad
First bell pepper

In the Garden: Mesclun Mix

Back in, probably February, Dan planted mesclun mix seeds in a terra-cotta planter on the back steps. I had told him they would last all summer, but I neglected to specify that he should sprinkle a pinch of seeds each week for the summer. So he planted the whole seed packet all at once.

April 25
Mesclun Mix - April 25

This is from last week, so it’s a little smaller now, but we definitely need to eat more of this. I also added a couple of parsley plants in there. It couldn’t be easier to grow – just sprinkle the seeds on and keep it watered.

May 15
Mesclun Mix - May 15

Photo Friday: Homemade

We grew a nice variety of lettuces in the garden last spring, and most of them did very nicely. We had salad from the garden regularly all spring and into the summer.

This is a composed salad I made one day last summer. Since the high is supposed to be about 42*F today, I’m hoping the thought of a cool salad on a hot day might warm me up. If not, I’ll make some hot chocolate.

Photo Friday: Homemade

This is for Photo Friday’s weekly photo challenge. This week’s topic is Homemade.

Garden pix

Yay, it works! I just created a Flickr account, uploaded some garden photos, and made a slide show using this Flickr Slideshow Generator. So cool.

Our garden was not nearly this prolific this year, unfortunately. The tomatoes and peppers didn’t do very well. So this is a test of the slide show using photos from the last few years. They still look yummy, though, don’t they?

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