You can find plenty of locally-grown green beans (aka ‘string beans’) at area farm markets right now. Green beans are a versatile ingredient, and an important source of vitamins, minerals and a variety of other phytonutrients. Green beans are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, and a good source of vitamin B6, B1, folate, niacin, phosphorus, copper, calcium, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and magnesium. Green beans are also a great source of vegetable protein, are loaded with dietary fiber and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and have valuable amounts of the mineral silicon, which is vital for strong bones and healthy connective tissue.
Flying Mouse Farms at the Oakwood Farm Market have several kinds of terrific green beans right now, and for the next 3 weeks or so. You should store the unwashed fresh green beans in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper; whole beans stored in this manner should keep for about a week.
If you wish to stock up on these fine local beans and freeze them yourself for later use, you can steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat, rinse in cold water in the colander and let them completely cool before putting them in freezer bags and storing them in your freezer.
Here is a crazy-good recipe for green beans with bacon and balsamic vinegar! You can get Blairquist bacon, and Miami Spice Traders balsamic vinegar at the Oakwood Farm Market.
Green beans with bacon and balsamic vinegar
- 1# green beans, trimmed
- 2 slices bacon, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme, or 112 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the green beans into a 2 quart microwave dish, add 2 cups hot water, cover, and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until beans are tender but still bright green. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add shallots and thyme, and cook until shallots are tender and bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and cook until sugar glazes, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and stir to coat. Add the vinegar and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The Oakwood Farm Market is held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. now through Aug 30, 2014 in the municipal parking lot at Far Hills Ave and Orchard Ave.