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06.26.12 / Summer Eats

I grew up on somewhat of a farm and in the summers we’d have bushels of homegrown green beans. I can still remember sitting on our back porch with a 5 gallon bucket of beans helping my mom string them. It was a repetitive yet calming task. My mom would spend most of the summer canning beans {among other produce harvested from our garden}. To this day, the sound of a pressure cooker whistling is a fond memory.

Fast forward 25 years, I love me some green beans. However, I don’t have a garden {yet…it’s something I’d like to try} and I couldn’t tell you how to can a single bean. This past spring I was listening to The Splendid Table on NPR {love NPR, btw} and happened to catch the tail end of an interview with a southern chef. Sorry, I couldn’t tell you her name. Anyhow, she was describing what sounded like the most delectable way to cook and serve green beans. It was more of a method of cooking the beans as opposed to a detailed recipe. The interview stuck with me and last week I attempted cooking green beans using the method described. I don’t know that I remembered the instructions word for word but the beans were delicious. I’ve made them twice since. Here’s what I did.

Swirl the bottom of a pan with olive oil and heat.

Saute minced garlic.

Add green beans – washed, strung and halved. Salt and pepper to taste.

Top beans with three tomatoes – washed, quartered and seeded. Sprinkle ~1 tablespoonful of sugar over the bean-tomato mixture.

Turn heat as low as you can, cover and let simmer for 1 hour. Do not lift the lid or stir.

In one hour, you will have the most amazing beans. Ever. Yum.

My boys won’t eat the tomatoes but they will eat the beans. That’s okay. More tomatoes for me.

On another summer eats note, I gifted my niece this ice pop maker set and Top Pops recipe book.

I really want to try the pineapple thai basil pops. They sound interesting, disgusting and tasty all in one.

What summer eats are you enjoying this summer?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

39 Comments

26.June.2012

I have been OBSESSED with avocado for the past few weeks. My latest take on it – on baguette with chicken salad. So good!

Those beens do look amazing, I love anything with a bit of mince garlic in, can’t go wrong :)

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26.June.2012

I love fresh fruit in the summer : tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches are some of my favorites. I did plant some tomatoes in my garden, but they’re hardly growing, due to a lack of sun lately. And I looooove ice-cream !! Fruit & ice-cream, could be an interesting diet for the summer …

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26.June.2012

Frozen Lime-ade bars from Aldi! Only 90 calories, and they’re perfect on a hot summer day. Won’t lie, Yuengling Light is my go-to beer right now, perfect in a frozen glass.
I’m going to try the green bean recipe. We have about 40 tomatoes that are all going to ripen at the same time, so this recipe is perfect for us, bonus is that my oldest daughter loves green beans and tomatoes. (Too bad I can’t get my son to eat either).

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26.June.2012

Pina colada’s on the deck! Only when baby is gone for the day with MIL!

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replied on June 26th, 2012

Oh and by the way thanks for the recipe. I’m going to try this asap!

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I’m a huge NPR fan, going to miss click and clack. NPR always has the best interviews. We’re thinking about starting a garden next year… although we might join a CSA for local organic produce. TBD, I guess. Thanks for the beans recipe, I’m going to try it soon.

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replied on June 26th, 2012

Isn’t NPR the best? As soon as Lynne from The Splendid Table starts speaking, my mouth is watering. There’s something about her voice…

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26.June.2012

My husband got an ice cream maker for Father’s Day, so we are enjoying homemade ice cream this summer (a bit too much)! ;) BTW, I’m wondering how you are liking your IKEA range. Have you used it enough to have an opinion? The price point is definitely good for the commercial appearance. I’m considering it as a replacement for the one I currently have, so I’d appreciate your thoughts!

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26.June.2012

I just stole your gift idea for my niece! thanks for the inspiration!

my fav. summer treat are tomatoes with fresh basil. I eat em in salads, on sandwiches, sometimes just like apples. they are just soooo yummy when they are fresh from the garden.

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26.June.2012

Caprese salad with “real” fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil from my garden–we eat this as often as possible in the summertime. I’m also making ice cream a lot this year! This morning I made a fabulous cherry sherbet and put some of it into popsicle molds, we’ll see how they turned out when I get home after work. Plus any kind of light and tasty alcoholic beverage; recently have made a Lemon-Thyme Tequila spritzer that turned out great!

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replied on June 26th, 2012

Oh, and this “recipe” sounds great, I’ll definitely be giving it a try soon! I so remember helping my mom can produce in the summer, mostly tomatoes. I’m hoping to do some small-batch canning this year.

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I’ll have to give that technique a shot! We were always up to our ears in green beans growing up, and as a result I don’t actually like them very much. I put them in our garden anyway, since my hubby loves them so much, and now I’m looking for ways that *I* can enjoy them! I am looking forward to our many tomatoes, though, which are on the brink of being ripe now.

I bet it will be fun once you do have a chance to start a garden, especially getting the kiddos involved in it. I hear that kids are more likely to eat veggies when they’ve had a hand in growing them. :-) You’ll have to tell us how it goes if you try it, since I’m still a few years from kids!

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26.June.2012

I loooove green beans in all forms and I’ll have to try this method, it looks delicious. Very excited to see cooking pics on the new stove – we just bought the same one last weekend at IKEA. By some miracle, we found one for half off in the as-is section. Woot!

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replied on June 26th, 2012

Love, love, LOVE our new stove! To me, there’s nothing better than cooking on a gas stove top. Yay to you for scoring half off!

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26.June.2012

Peaches + Basil + Fresh Mozzarella + splash of olive oil + salt + pepper. THE BEST “SALAD” for the summer. :)

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26.June.2012

Hmm, I have to admit that I’m skeptical about the recipe. An hour of bean cooking sounds like a recipe for mushy beans.

A great popsicle for adults is pureed watermelon with a splash of vodka and a little bit of chopped mint. The mint masks that vodka-y aftertaste so it’s really refreshing on a hot day.

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replied on June 26th, 2012

HH doesn’t like his beans mushy, so I tried cooking them for 45 minutes and they turned out firm, crunchy. I like mine a little softer so prefer the hour long cook. It’s totally up to you! The cook that was detailing the method said they were ‘to melt in your mouth’ so I think the original recipe is for a softer bean.

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26.June.2012

Oh I wish my family liked green beans! That recipe sounds so yummy! And yes, I can remember helping my grandma string beans, snap peas and all those other good summer memories! Anything peach is my favorite summer food! Picking peaches and eating them straight off the tree is the BEST!

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Love me some green beans.

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26.June.2012

Try Julia Child’s “Haricots Verts a la Provencale” recipe – seriously amazing.

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26.June.2012

Fried Green Tomatoes –
1) Slice several firm green tomatoes
2) heat up about one half to one inch of oil (preferably a healthy one such as canola oil)
3) lay out the slices of green tomatoes while oil is heating and sprinkle salt over the top of them (sprinkle not layer). Little bubbles will form where the salt lands.
4) Dredge the tomato slices in cornmeal and place delicately into the hot oil so as not to splatter. You have to just be the judge of when to turn them over and whether you like them crunchy crispy or a little soggy. Fry on each side, then drain on paper towel or cookie rack.

Enjoy! It is a southerner’s treat and yummy!

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replied on June 26th, 2012

I want to try this! I crave tomatoes in the summer.

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26.June.2012

Our green beans will be ready for harvest soon…can’t wait to try this with our homegrown tomatoes. We have Thai basil in the garden, too & will be trying out the pops! Thanks so much for this post.

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26.June.2012

That recipe looks yummy. I have always sauteed them in olive oil and garlic but tomatoes sound like a good addition. I can’t wait for our green beans and tomatoes to come in. My DH just put up deer fencing last night because our crops were in jeopardy of being eaten to the ground!

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26.June.2012

Thanks for reminding me my green beans need to go in the garden. Someone told me to plant them in late June to keep away the bugs and it’s worked well the past few years. We do square foot gardening here in Dayton because there is a lot of clay in the soil. We currently have three 3×6 beds and a few randomly planted around our landscape. It provides us with quiet a bit of our favorites….lettuce, cucumbers (my husband begs me to can him bread and butter pickles), several kinds of tomatoes, basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, chives, eggplant, and bell pappers. I don’t even bother with melons, squash, or zucchini anymore…after 4 yrs they’ve never turned out. I’ll have to pick up some green beans this week from the sugar creek farmers market on Friday and try this out with a few cherry tomatoes that just ripened. Mmmm! Might add a splash of balsamic vinegar as well!

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26.June.2012

One of my favorite dishes is green beans cooked the same way but adding cinnamon
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-greeksty-17576
They make everything sound so good on splendid kitchen!
But hands down my go to summer meal is super easy no cooking required. Avocado, defrosted cooked shrimp, black beans, cooked corn kernals,cilantro, tomatoes, green onions, grounded black pepper, salt, olive oil and plenty of lemon juice…some times I throw in cooked short grain brown rice if I have leftovers. But my favorite summer cravin meals is a smoked eggplant salad, after you finish grilling your dinner throw a couple of eggplants in the grill (with some slices up sides of it) let is cook so it almost deflates when you turn it over because you want to ensure a smoky flavor. Then when it is done peeloff the charcoaled skin and mince up the meat of the eggplant it will be pretty mushy/soft. Toss it with fresh tomatoes, some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and onions (to take edge off onion soak in water and knead before draining to take the pujent taste done a few notches). I usually cook the eggplant one day and then make salad out if it the following day but the key is to cook it long enough to get the smoky flavor. No more talking about food …I could go on and on!

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replied on June 26th, 2012

also should have said you put a whole eggplant on the grill..just keep turning it to cook and make sure to put some slices so it can breathe

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26.June.2012

Classic french way to cook and serve green beans. Once you’ve had them that way any other preparation seems to fall a bit short, IMO.

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27.June.2012

Yesterday when I was packing my lunch to take to work, I realized that I would have been happy to pack all fruit! I’ve also been enjoying fresh veggies — and corn on the cob always feels like a treat. But I’m especially eager for our tomatoes to grow and ripen. Oh, and I’m looking forward to peach season. Mmm… I love summer.

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27.June.2012

Love NPR and greens beans. This recipe sounds delicious! I try to take advantage of seasonal produce from my local farmers market. We just bought our first house and have yet to get the yard in order but next year is a raised garden for sure. The co-op in town has some awesome pineapple right now so I’ve been making and searching for pineapple recipes…and grilling often. My favorite so far has been the grilled (or roasted) pineapple with honey, pistachios, yogurt and mint. http://thedabble.com/blog/grilled-roasted-pineapple-honey-pistachios-yogurt/

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27.June.2012

I LOVE the Splendid Table (and NPR)! I also recommend Lynne’s book if you don’t already have it. I remember first hearing her on a trip a few years ago and salivating. Until recently I had to download it as a podcast but fortunately our local NPR has finally picked it up!

I just picked up that ice pop set myself (after the demise of my Zoku). I like peach basil popsicles a lot. I made up the recipe last year and I mix fresh peaches (skin and all), basil, and a little oj in a blender. Sometimes I add a little vanilla yogurt too.

I will have to try out the green bean recipe. We just got a big bag from our CSA yesterday.

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27.June.2012

Sounds tasty! I may just have to give this a try!

I’ve been making lots of smoothies the past week, mainly because I had my wisdom teeth removed but also because my mom bought me an immersion blender. That thing makes blending ANYTHING a thousand times easier. My favorite is the Green Monster smoothie because it’s like a meal in liquid form and actually fills me up. I also made some Cookie Dough Ice Pops over the weekend. OMG. AMAZING!!! Especially if you like chocolate chip cookie dough!

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27.June.2012

I did it! I made it for dinner tonight! It is sooooo delicious! I told my mom about this recipe and I’m going to take it to our annual family 4th of July picnic for everyone else to enjoy! Thank you so very much! I love easy, simple, vegetarian dishes!

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27.June.2012

Yum! Thanks for the great recipe idea. Serve that with some brown rice and at our house, that would qualify as dinner:-)

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replied on June 28th, 2012

I served it with rice as well!

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28.June.2012

I’d love to know what pan you are using in your photos. Do you like it? My pan is on it’s last leg and I’d like to get something new soon.

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replied on June 28th, 2012

It’s part of the Cook’s Essentials collection. It was a gift. While it cooks great and I do like it, I’d really like to get away from the non-stick coated stuff. I try to follow all the guidelines {LO heat, no metal utensils, no scouring pads, etc.} but sometimes I have to turn on HI heat or use a metal spoon. Buying all new cookware isn’t an option right now though. Anyone else have any suggestions about great cookware to try?

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28.June.2012

I’ve been craving gazpacho. I like it spicy and chunky. Yum!

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28.June.2012

that looks delicious! any decorating plans for you for 4th of july? Its Canada day for us on July 1st so its going to be red and white everywhere!

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