When you discover something like Chinese Long Beans at your Tennessee farmers market I think you are obligated to give them a try, don’t you think?
Often called yard long beans they are a bit closer to a half yard long but even that is significant enough to make the common green bean a bit jealous.
A quick search for recipes yielded this recipe for Stir Fried Yard Long Beans. It’s the type of recipe that Neal loves best since it sends him to the Indian grocery searching out ingredients we’ve never before encountered like curry leaves and asafetida powder.
Curry leaves are interesting things. The texture reminds me a bit of a holly leaf and the flavor is decidedly smokey. It bears no resemblance to actual curry powder.
The night before we made this dish I began to notice an unusual smell in the kitchen. I was finally able to pinpoint the cabinet it was coming from and we began pulling everything out, trying to figure out what was spoiling. It was puzzling since that cabinet is primarily canned goods and dried grains. And then we noticed the jar of asafetida powder. ohmygoodness! Now I know why it is also called devil’s dung. It’s a pretty indescribable smell except to say you can’t imagine actually voluntarily adding it to your dinner. But, add it in we did! I’m happy to say that you don’t notice the smell in the cooked dish. I’d be interested to try the beans with and without the powder to know what it added. The recipe only called for a pinch so I now have several ounces in the cabinet awaiting experimentation. We were at the Indian grocery again this weekend and the man who checked us out said he adds a pinch to pretty much everything he cooks. Hmm…not sure I’m that adventurous.
The beans were delicious and pretty reminiscent of green beans in texture.
Summer is here in full force with 100+ degree temps! At times like these turning on the oven should be outlawed. Thank goodness for the tomatoes! They need little other than chopping to be a quick, cooling side dish.
These are Sungold and Black Cherry tomatoes from Signal Mountain Farm. I tossed them with a bit of goat cheese from Bonnie Blue Farm and some basil from the yard. Let it sit for just a few minutes so the flavors can meld together and that’s it! A quick piece of fish or chicken would finish this off nicely.
Beets are one of those newly discovered vegetables for me. I’ve never really eaten them before the last few years but I have fallen hard for them. I especially like when I can get a vegetable in a variety of colors so when I saw these golden and red beets hanging out together at the market at the Signal Mountain Farm table I had to have them. As fate would have it the next booth I walked by was Bonnie Blue Farm where they have the best goat cheese (which, coincidentally, has also become an obsession this summer). The goat cheese made its way into my basket with thoughts of a beet and goat cheese salad floating through my head.
I’ve never actually made a beet and goat cheese salad but that’s why I have all those cooking apps on my phone, right? As is my usual recipe style, this is a hodge-podge of several recipes. I started by drizzling the (clean) beets with a bit of grape seed oil, wrapping them in foil, and roasting for about an hour at 425 degrees. Let them cool enough to handle and then peel and dice them. If you are using golden and red beets then you should try to keep them separate so the red beets don’t stain the golden. Red beets are awfully aggressive and your kitchen will be a great setting for a murder movie after you finish peeling and dicing.
Now, at this point you can just toss the beets with the goat cheese and chow down. However, one of the recipes I was using was a layered salad so I decided to fancy things up a bit. You need a mold about 2 inches wide and however tall you want the salad. Layer the beets and goat cheese, pressing down between layers to help it hold together.
You can certainly do as many layers as you like but the taller it gets, they harder time you will have keeping it upright. Slowly pull the mold off and there you have a stacked beet and goat cheese salad! If you’ve never had beets and goat cheese together I can assure you they were meant to be. Seriously good stuff.
I’ve spent most of my life under the impression that okra can only be consumed fried. I thought I really wasn’t an okra fan but it turns out I’m just not a fan of fried okra. This is basically a stir fried okra that requires little prep and no frying. And, let me go ahead and answer your next question…no, it is not slimy! I think that it gets slimier the more it gets cooked. This is a very quick cooking method that leaves the okra with a bit of crunch and no slime.
This okra came from the Sunday Market from a vendor who, unfortunately, does not have a named booth.
Simply cut off the top and slice the okra with a bias cut. I just did these in half but in hindsight, thirds might have been a better way to go.
In a wok or large skillet toast some mustard seeds. You will know when the mustard seeds are toasted because they begin to pop. Be warned, a warm just toasted mustard seed can pop clear across the kitchen! Add a bit of oil and the okra and let it cook for a few minutes. Add your spices next and stir to coat all the okra. We used curry powder but I think 5 spice powder would be really good as well. Cook until your desiredness. All in all this dish cooks about 10 minutes.
Yes, I’ll admit it. I still have a George Foreman grill that I pull out from time to time! It’s great for a wrap sandwich and for squash. (really, lots of veggies would work with this method). This is squash from Hazelrig Farm.
Simply slice your squash, brush with oil and sprinkle on your seasoning. We used Cavenders, a Mediterranean seasoning.
Cook for 4 minutes per side on the grill. Simple and delicious!
Oven roasted potatoes take a bit of time in the oven but the hands on time is virtually nil and you can adapt the flavors easily to match your main dish.
Simply dice your potatoes, toss with olive oil, salt, and herbs of choice (I used rosemary here), spread them on a baking pan and roast at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn the broiler on low for a minute or so to brown the tops.