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July, 2012

Organic Green Beans

By Mark Mulcahy

While they are available all year long from different parts of the country or world, it is during the summer and early fall they are in season, at their best, and at the best price you will find.

Organic Green Beans

It’s bean a lovely summer!

One thing I love about this time of year is the fresh flavor of Melissa’s organic green beans. I love them raw, lightly steamed, sautéed, roasted, or combined with bi-color corn and black krim tomatoes for a cool summer salad.

While they are available all year long from different parts of the country or world, it is during the summer and early fall they are in season, at their best, and at the best price you will find.

Can you believe there are over 130 varieties of green beans? They can range in shape from thin and round to wide and flat, and in color from the familiar green to beautiful gold, vibrant purple and red.

Which ones do you like? As long as they are fresh and not past their prime I haven’t found one I don’t like. When you are at your favorite produce department, look for vibrant green beans with a smooth velvet feel that are free from brown spots or wilted ends. Then do the bend and snap- no, not the one you learned from the movie...the bean version! Simply bend your bean, and feel the SNAP!

At home, keep them unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Stored this way, your beans can keep for about seven days. A favorite way to enjoy them this time of year is grilled. Try this wonderful recipe adapted from http://www.cooks.com/.

Grilled Green Bean and Red Onion Salad

Green beans can be grilled directly on the grill or you can put into a grilling basket, but either way you need to be willing to watch them carefully. They just a quick, light grill, before being tossed with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil.

Salad:
1½ pounds Melissa’s Organic Green Beans, trimmed
2 Tablespoons Organic Olive Oil

Light the grill.

Toss the Melissa’s organic green beans with the oil. When the coals turn gray, use tongs to set the beans in a single layer on the grill. Cook them for about 4 minutes, turning them often. The beans should char in spots, but do not let them burn all over. They are cooked when they look slightly wilted.

Remove the beans from the grill and return them to the mixing bowl.

Cover the salad tightly and refrigerate for several hours or dress it and serve right away.

Dressing:
¼ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 head Chicory, torn into pieces
½ Melissa’s Organic Red Onion, very finely chopped
½ Red Onion, quartered (for garnish)

In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.

Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing emulsifies.

Arrange the chicory in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Using tongs, add the green beans.

Pour the dressing over the beans and sprinkle them with chopped onion.

Garnish with the onion quarters and serve at once.

This is one salad I’m sure you’ll try again and again this summer.