At the Market: Green Beans

Photo Credit: baskets of green beans at the Boulder Farmers Market / Boulder County Farmers Markets

Boulder Farmers Market

13th Street and Canyon Boulevard

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 2

8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23

Lafayette Farmers Market

400 Block of East Simpson St.

4 p.m. – 8p.m. Thursdays through Sep. 26

Longmont Farmers Market 

Boulder County Fairgrounds

8 a.m. – 1p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23

Union Station Farmers Market 

Denver’s Union Station

9 a.m. – 2p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26

In season now: Labor Day typically marks the end of the summer, but the market still screams summertime with a little pop of fall. Stock your pantries with apples, basil, bell peppers, beets, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans kale, lettuce, melon, mint, peaches, peppers, plums, potatoes, spicy greens, sweet corn, Swiss chard, summer squash and tomatoes You will also find honey, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, ferments, preserves and mushrooms.

Lots of this, please: plump, green and multi-colored string beans.

The farmer says: Green beans are coming in strong and stealthy at the markets this week. This is another summer crop that we’ll see steadily until the first frost of the season. Wax are the most common, and in the highest supply. But now’s the time to sample the specialty varieties like – Dragon Tongue, cream-colored and speckled with purple or thin, long delicate haricots verts. There are two types of green beans – pole and bush, and over 130 cultivars branch off from there. Pole beans grow best on trellis or teepee, and bush requires no trellis, but produce earlier in lower yield.

While many vendors have beans of different varieties and larger amounts – Lyle Davis of Pastures of Plenty, typically the king of green beans at our Boulder market, is still waiting on his to finish off. Davis says this year has been particularly difficult for his beans, a crop his farm is well known for. His first planting produced a very low yield, and his Italian Romanos were chopped up by Mexican bean beetles. Don’t fret, if you’re a diehard Pastures of Plenty fan, Davis does expect some green beans in the next couple weeks, however in lower quantities than usual.

How to prepare: Most green bean varieties require some amount of preparation – either a quick trim or de-stringing (most perfectly ripe beans won’t need this). Blanching is perfect for a simple preparation, you can also blanche and sautee for a more tender texture. Roasting will bring out flavors more – toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and heat the oven to 450. It should take about 10 minutes.

Goes with: garlic, olive oil, summer squash, corn, bacon, tomatoes

How to store it: Store your beans unwashed in a reusable container in your vegetable drawer for up to seven days. As always the faster you eat the fresher and more flavorful they’ll be. If you’d like to freeze, trim the beans to the desired length and pop them in a freezer bag. No blanching required.

Grilled Peach and Green Bean Salad

INGREDIENTS

3 large peaches
(slightly under ripe–firm)
1 T vegetable, olive, or coconut oil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups pole beans, cut into 1″ segments
1 1/2 cups corn
1 tsp vegetable, olive, or coconut oil salt
1/4 cup bell peppers, cut into slices
1 tsp thinly sliced basil
(4 – 6 leaves)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Cut peaches in half, remove pit, and coat lightly in oil.
  3. Place peaches on a hot grill, flesh side down. Once nice grill marks are achieved, flip over, and grill on skin side for 1 more minute. Remove from grill, and cut into slices.
  4.  Place peaches in a mixing bowl with the balsamic vinegar; set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, toss corn and pole beans with oil and salt, and place on baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until beans and corn are tender.
  6. Remove from oven, and toss corn and beans with grilled peaches and vinegar. Add bell peppers and basil.
  7. Adjust salt for taste.
  8. Serve warm or chilled.

SOURCE Matt Collier, Chef, Seeds Library Cafe