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Green Bean and Tomato Salad

I bemoaned on Facebook this morning that, “I will be SO glad when school is back in session so I can eat like an adult again.”

Having The G Man so often this summer has required a lot of kid-friendly meals.  Which suits The Young One just fine – he’s never outgrown his love of chicken nuggets, spaghetti, pizza and meatballs in barbecue sauce over mashed potatoes (last night’s dinner).  Beloved, Darling Daughter and I, on the other hand, are going through quinoa, lamb curry and liver paté withdrawal.

In fact, once the adult palates are all that’s left in the house, liver paté is going to be one of the first things I’m going to make.

At any rate, this past Saturday it was just me and Beloved for dinner.  (Of course it was just me and Beloved for dinner – there was a bushel of green beans to clean and can; do you honestly think there would be a kid anywhere in sight??)  While I was busy with the green beans, Beloved cut up and vacuum sealed three of the four chickens we’d picked up from our poultry farmer a couple of days before.  The fourth chicken was duly spatchcocked, seasoned with s&p and slipped into a Ziploc bag with some buttermilk and fresh tarragon to marinate.

Later that evening, after the beans had (mostly) been dispensed with, Beloved fired up the grill and roasted the chicken along with a couple of ears of fresh sweet corn, and I made this, for a dinner that was so locally sourced I could barely eat it, I was feeling so smug.

Oh, I kid.  I wolfed it down.

Along with the absurd amount of green beans we picked up last week, we also have been getting some lovely cherry tomatoes and red onions from the CSA.  Inspired by a recipe that came with our CSA share last week, I decided to combine the 3 with some fresh rosemary from our garden, although you could use any fresh herb you like (I know at least one of my readers is allergic to rosemary).  One quick balsamic vinaigrette later, we had a wonderfully refreshing, delicious and seasonal salad.

Please let the salad marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before eating to allow the flavors to marry – in fact, if you can remember to make it ahead, this is even better the next day.  I ate the leftovers for 3 days straight, it’s just so yummy.  And this is not only paleo-friendly, if you leave out the honey, which is completely optional, it’s Whole30 compliant, as well as vegan-friendly.

Green Bean and Tomato Salad. A fantastic summer side dish for when fresh green beans and tomatoes are at their best.

Click the image to enlarge

5.0 from 3 reviews
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stock pot; drop in the green beans and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into a large bowl of ice water until completely cooled.
  2. Drain the beans again and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl with the tomatoes, onion and rosemary; toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and honey (if using). Add the olive oil, pouring in a thin stream, whisking continually until well-combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over the green bean mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before tossing again and serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 142 calories, 12.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 6.4mg sodium, 151.5mg potassium, 8g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 2.7g sugar, 1.3g protein

Beans, Beans and More Peach Preserves

I just wanted to begin today’s post by saying how heartbroken I am about Robin Williams’ tragic death.  I come from an exceedingly dysfunctional family – just about every neurosis known to mankind is represented in some form – but we’re not suicidal, so I can’t begin to even understand what he must have been going through.  The (very intelligent) husband of Beloved’s cousin said that Robin’s death is “a truly sad reminder that brilliance and happiness rarely reside peacefully in the same brain.

That may be true, but it is so incredibly pitiful.  Is Don McLean still around?  This calls for a song – The Day The Laughter Died.

Yes, I’m old.  And very, very sad.

At any rate, I guess I’ll move on to my originally intended post, which should really have been titled “How I Spent Last Weekend” or “Wanna See What A Bushel of Green Beans Looks Like?”

I hope so, because it looks like this:

Bushel O' Beans

Well, that’s slightly over a bushel; the green and purple beans in the blue colander are from our garden, while the rest are the bushel we purchased from our CSA farmer.  See how neatly the CSA beans are all trimmed and cut?  It was done entirely by hand and took over 3 hours.

Remember – neurosis runs in the family.

Once that was done, I began the process of actually pressure canning the whole mess.  Well, except for the beans from our garden, which are currently fermenting merrily away in a Pickl-It jar on my counter as Dilly Beans.  The canning took 2 days, because while you only need to process the jars for 20 minutes, you still have to fill those jars, seal them, arrange them in the pressure canner, close the thing up (I don’t think NASA secures astronauts as well as this thing locks down), bring it up to pressure, process for the 20 minutes, then let it naturally vent the pressure.

All in all, processing one batch of green beans took nearly two hours.  I processed 2 that first day, so 7 hours all told on Saturday, and this was after we’d run our errands (which included purchasing an insane amount of green beans).

Sunday saw me canning not only the third batch of beans, but a dozen half pints of peach preserves.  Thank goodness you can process those in a water bath, so all I had to do was peel, pit, and dice the peaches before mixing them with lemon juice, sugar and pectin and cooking them down before putting it all in jars.  That only took about 3 hours, all told.

And here’s what 3 bushels of green beans, canned, looks like – minus one pound that I used for tomorrow’s recipe and the two jars we ate last night for dinner:

Bushel O' Beans - Canned

The two boxes in the background are the peach preserves, along with the strawberry-rhubarb I canned earlier in the season.

Next up?  At least 4 bushels – maybe six – of tomatoes for sauce and paste.


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