Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mom's Green Beans

I can't believe this recipe is not up here.  Unless my searching capabilities have disappeared, it seems that I never posted my mom's wonderful green bean recipe.  Perfect for summer when we are inundated with beans and tomatoes- this dish is just fantastic! The recipe below includes my mom's notes from when she shared this recipe with me in 2007 when I moved out on my own after college. 

Green Beans with Tomatoes (From My Mom!)

What You Need

- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds of green beans (thin french style beans are the best but any would do)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (use 4)
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and chopped  (this is too much onion; no more than 1/2 onion)
- 4 small ripe tomatoes, about 1 pound, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (Allison note: I like using cherry tomatoes cut in half)
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

What You Do

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, add the beans and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are about half-cooked and become bright green.  (I use my wok)
2. Reduce heat and add garlic and onion.  Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Add tomatoes, parsley, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper, and continue to cook, tossing occasionally for about another 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced.  Serve immediately, or cool and serve at room temperature.
The recipe makes 4-6 portions.  Note that you can get snazzy with the herbs.  Use what you have from the market or your kitchen garden.  I use fresh oregano and limit the parsley (I'm not a huge parsley fan).  I've also thrown in other summer veggies cut into thin, small pieces such as zucchini and summer squash. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lilly Gardens

I spent last weekend up in NJ/NYC visiting my family. I thought I would share some photos that made me smile from the Lilly family container gardens.  It seems to me that container gardening runs in my family! 

Here is my dad's back patio garden with some new herbs we just put in together this weekend:

Here is my mom's terrace with some beautiful and healthy plants.  They are even surviving the wild winds that blow out on her 19th floor apartment:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Loving

After my trip to the farmer's market this weekend, I enjoyed the most perfect summer afternoon meal: sliced heirloom tomato (cherokee purple), locally grown bibb lettuce, fresh roll with local goat cheese and quark with herbs (half the roll with one type of cheese, and half the roll with the other-- I couldn't decide between them!). I was introduced to quark for the first time this year at the market from a local dairy-- and it is amazing! See if you can find it at your market and at least do a taste test.  Did I mention that I also had cherries, blueberries, and plums?   


Wow.  I love summer.

I can't do a summer loving shout out without praising some okra as well.  Here is it getting chopped up with some onion from the market to go into my stewed okra and tomato recipe (served with rice). 

I hope you are all enjoying summer as much as I am. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Banana Peppers

The peppers are ripe and starting to be picked. We have tons of hot peppers, and unfortunately, I am a little bit intimidated by them. I'm not a huge spicy fan. I do, however, love banana peppers. Today, I pickled some that I received as a gift from a friend's garden. I even put one half of a hot pepper to use.

Quick-Pickle Banana Peppers (adapted from the Indianapolis Food Examiner)

What You Need
- 1 cup sliced banana peppers
- 3/4 c. white vinegar
- 1/4 c. cider vinegar
- 1 hot pepper, sliced finely
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar

What You Do
1. Stir all ingredients together except for peppers until salt dissolved.
2. Add peppers and mix well, to ensure all are covered with vinegar mixture.
3. Top with a little more cider vinegar if necessary.
4. Let sit about 30 minutes and use as desired.
5. Any leftovers can be stored in a clean jar, in the refrigerator, for a couple of weeks or canned in a sterile jar.

I hope they aren't too hot.  I'm excited to use them on a sandwich! Summer is just too much fun.

Oops: One Post in June?

Wow, I've dropped the ball.  With all the fun I've been having in the Public Health Garden, I have completely neglected the container garden (and other plants) at home as well as my Adventures blog.  I am very sorry that I have not had a chance to share some favorite summer recipes this past month. I'll make sure to add some more this July.  As a consolation prize, here are some fun photos from the past two weeks: