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Archive for September 13, 2015

RECIPE: Green Bean Salad

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Serve this green bean salad as a first course,
chilled or at room temperature. Photo
courtesy Distilled NY.

 

Green beans are a popular year-round vegetable. Only broccoli ranks higher among the green veggies.

According to Produce Pete, green beans (also called snap beans) are best in early winter, early summer and early fall, when they are the most tender.

Select small to medium-sized pods that are velvety-looking and bright green, with no signs of wilting or wrinkling. Don’t think that bigger is better.

Choose the smaller beans: They’ll be sweeter and more tender. Long, thicker beans have been left on the vine too long, and can be tough and tasteless.

Fresh green beans should be tender enough to eat raw, and should have a crisp snap when you break them apart. If they’re rubbery and bend, pass them by.

One our favorite green been salads is Niçoise-style: lightly steamed beans, red onion, halved cherry tomatoes and anchovies in a mustard vinaigrette, garnished with quartered hard-boiled eggs.

 
You can also add boiled potatoes. Served at room temperature, it’s always a hit and is an excellent buffet dish as well.

For people who don’t like anchovies or onions, we adapted this salad (photo above, recipe below) from Chef Sean Lyons at Distilled NY, in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. You can serve it as a first course or a side, lightly chilled or at room temperature.

RECIPE: GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH TABBOULEH

Ingredients For 4-5 Servings

  • 1 pound green beans
  • Tabbouleh, other grain salad (barley, rice, quinoa, etc.), or bean or lentil salad
  • 6-8 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard or sweetened plain Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Vinaigrette (recipe)
  • Garnish: Kalamata or Picholine olives -or – 1/4 pound firm white cheese*
  •  
    *Use feta, smoked mozzarella, ricotta salata or whatever your store has that can be cut into cubes.

     

    Preparation

    1. STEAM the green beans, ideally lightly so they still have a bit of crunch. Set aside.

    2. PREPARE the base salad. You can make corn corn relish, bean or grain salad. We saved time by purchasing tabbouleh and adding corn kernels.

    3. BLEND the sauce ingredients—yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise. You can tailor this to your tastes; for example, sour cream instead of yogurt, mustard and mayonnaise to taste. You want to get mild to medium mustard flavor.

    4. PREPARE the vinaigrette. We particularly like walnut or hazelnut oil with this salad, although olive oil is fine. Toss to lightly coat the string beans.

    5. USE a silicone barbecue brush to paint a swath of mustard sauce on one side of the plate or shallow bowl. Add the tabbouleh in an angle as shown. Place the green beans atop the tabbouleh.

    6. GARNISH as desired.

     

    Fresh Green Beans

    Green beans, also called snap beans, were bread from the older string beans. Photo courtesy Burpee.

     

    FOOD TRIVIA

    Green beans were formerly called string beans, because they originally had a string of tough fiber that ran the entire length of the bean. You had to remove the string from each and every bean before cooking.

    The inconvenient string was bred out over time, and people began to refer to the stringless beans as snap beans or green beans. But people who learned the name from their parents or grandparents may still use the old name.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Made In Nature Coconut Chips

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    Madagascar Vanilla Coconut Chips. Photo
    courtesy Made In Nature.

     

    The new Made In Nature Organic Toasted Coconut Chips are a big hit with THE NIBBLE team. We love them for snacking and garnishing.

    Crunchy, health-tasting and versatile, we enjoyed the original plain toasted coconut chips. But the flavored versions are even better, and each is a winner:

  • Ginger Masala Chai
  • Italian Espresso
  • Maple Madagascar Vanilla
  • Mexican Spiced Cacao
  • Vietnamese Cinnamon Swirl
  •  
    A bit of maple syrup is used as a sweetener. All ingredients are organic and non-GMO* with natural flavors. The coconut chips follow the Made In Nature mission: healthy snacks and global flavors.

    The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $3.99 for a 3-ounce bag. The line is certified kosher by OU.

     

    *Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

     

    A REALLY GREAT GARNISH

    Beyond delicious snacking and incorporation into your trail mix, toasted coconut chips fit into every meal of the day as a garnish:

  • Breakfast: cereal, cottage cheese, yogurt
  • Lunch: Asian chicken salad, green salad, PB&J sandwiches, soup
  • Dinner: general plate garnish, international dishes, rice and other grains
  • Dessert: cake/cupcakes/pies, fruit salad, ice cream
  •  
    You can match the flavors of the coconut chips to the flavors of your dishes; for example, Italian Espresso Coconut Chips on coffee ice cream, Mexican Spiced Cacao on anything chocolate, or Ginger Masala Chai with an Asian stir-fry and rice.

    Or mix and match the flavors. We just added Vietnamese Cinnamon Swirl on top of a baked apple. We promise, you’ll have fun being creative with these flavored coconut chips.

     

    coconut-chips-wholepurerecipes-230r

    You can toast your own coconut chips. Photo courtesy WholePureRecipes.com.

     
    If you want to make your own coconut chips, here’s a recipe from Jodye of WholePureRecipes.com. It takes a while to get specialty flavors perfect, though; so you might want to start with Made From Nature.

    Made In Nature is available nationwide at retailers such as Costco, REI, Safeway, Sprouts, Wegman’s and Whole Foods Market; at select natural food stores; and online.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Regrow Scallions From The Roots

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    These scallions were re-grown from the sliced-off root ends. Photo courtesy Hidden
    Valley | Facebook.

     

    Nobody eats the roots of green onions or leeks, a sprouting bulb of garlic and other vegetable discards. They end up as landfill.

    But you can regrow some vegetable scraps in water, as long as you have a little sunlight.

    We saw this tip on Hidden Valley’s Facebook page and then did further research, ending up on Lifehacker.com. A reader’s comments on that site advises:

    After the new plants have started, you can keep growing them in water or else transfer them to soil so they’ll pick up nutrients and become more flavorful.

  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Romaine
  • Scallions (Green Onions)
  •  
    Try it both ways—water and soil—and see what works for you. Make it your “indoor farming” project for fall.

    Here’s how to do it from Lifehacker.com.

     
      

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