Monday, October 13, 2014

Dilly Romano Beans

Every year is an adventure in the backyard for us - my stepdad is forever saving seeds from not only the past year's crops at home, but also from random plants he comes across in his travels. As a result, we have grapes and flowers from B.C., fern-like flower vines from Quebec to the East coast and vegetables from generations of seeds once brought over from Italy and planted by his mother. While not all of the plants thrive (Winter squash being an example), the bean population is never lacking during the warmer months.

The type we grow are Italian flat beans, or fresh Romano beans, long and wide but incredibly tender while young. My stepfamily uses them mostly for salads, blanched and tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, but in my opinion they're delicious done any which way regular green beans can be. Chopped into pieces, they're like snow peas in stir fries and are delicious simply steamed with lemon or sauteed with onions, garlic and mushrooms. I haven't had a chance to try them roasted (I love green bean "fries") but it's definitely on my to-do list next year.

Dilly Romano Beans

One of the things I did attempt this year was pickling the last of our bumper crop, since my stepfamily was off on various vacations and I already had buckets of zucchini and eggplant to go through myself! Knowing that a few people on my Christmas giftee list like "dilly beans", I went that route, simply pairing the fresh herb from the farmer's market with homegrown garlic and pepper in the brine. After setting aside a smaller, uncanned jar (for taste testing!), I sealed the rest of them and set them aside for the holidays. Along with my Sweet and Tangy Pickled Beets, they're definitely the "lookers" of the produce bunch this year - and taste fabulous too!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Dilly Romano Beans
Adapted from Pick Your Own
Makes 2 pints, 16 (1/4 cup) servings
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 lb fresh Romano (flat) beans, washed and cut into 2” pieces
1 large bunch fresh dill
4 garlic cloves, halved
  1. Heat water, vinegar, salt and peppercorns in a pot until boiling.
  2. Add beans and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Place even amounts of dill and garlic in the bottom of each pint jar.
  4. Carefully fill the jars with the beans and brine, leaving ¼” headspace.
  5. Seal jars and process 5 minutes in a waterbath canner.
Amount Per Serving (accounting for 16% brine absorption)
Calories: 5.1
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 36.7 mg
Total Carbs: 0.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.6 g