Monday, September 8, 2008

Chinese Long Beans

Well, I've wanting to blog about these stinkin' beans for over 1 year! I took a bunch of photos last year of how to cook and use chinese 'yard' long beans, but Mark erased them( by accident) from the camera, and true, this vegetable is available year round, the purple variety is only at the markets for a short time. Purple, or red, chinese long beans taste the same as the green, but when cooked they almost appear black. I like using all of the colors of the rainbow when I cook, especially when I put salads together.

I know most people have ordered chinese food, and in that case you are likely to get this variety of green bean, usually stir-fried with chili, served also with a flavored meat like chicken or beef. I don't stir fry them, I blanch them in salted water uncut, since they're hollow, they tend to get waterlogged if you cut them first (4-5 min). Blanch the green ones first as the purple will change the colr of the water.

What I like about them is they have a "meaty-ness" about them. They get chewy in a good way, not a tough way. And since the're mild in flavor, you can throw them in practically any kind of salad. I put them in the potato salad I served at my neices bridal shower (baby new potatoes, green and white string beans, purple chinese beans, spinach with a lemon scallion dressing).

I used purple and green chinese long beans in Tuna Ceasar salad w/tomato.

I used purple and green chinese long beans in quinoa salad w/roasted corn, tomato, green onions, spinach.
All week I not only threw them in salads, but also in soups (of course, lol) Last night, after getting back from Healdsburg I had a simple salad of just tomatoes and the last of the beans with a splash of red wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt, that's it.


Kitchen Journal

Friday I picked up 25lbs of roma tomatoes and other heirloom varieties, and about 4lbs of yellow squash from Waynes garden, I had no time or energy to deal with any of it, so I washed them and left them on the kitchen counter until my return on Sunday. I also brought home some honey to take to Ross and Gayle from Waynes hives.

Gone for the weekend, but took my lunch of coleslaw w/chipotle dressing and chicken, along with carrot sticks and raisins for Saturday, knowing I was going to dinner later in the evening and more than likely drinking wine!


6 cups Fresh tomato soup.

Wow! I impressed myself with this, it turned out so yummy! No recipe, I just made it like any other soup.....diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic, in 2tbl oil (10 min), I used 4 lbs of romas diced, about 1 c. chicken stock, cooked it for additonal 15 min (after boil), and then ran it through my food mill to remove all skin and seeds. Since I have...... oh I don't know, maybe about 20lbs of roma left, I guess I'll be making more and freezing it, lol!

6 cups yellow summer squash and yellow bell soup.

I had 2 large yellow bells from CSA last week so I threw them in with the onion at the start of this soup to make sure it came out a pretty yellow color....which it did! I ate it for lunch with 1 c. brown rice and some diced grilled chicken breast.

Quinoa Salad w/beet greens, summer squash, yellow and orange bell, baby tomatoes dressed with cilantro pistachio pesto

I was so happy to find some pesto in my freezer for this salad. I made the quinoa with chicken stock and tried to use all appropriate veggies in my fridge.

I'm low on protein sources, but I'm trying to not go to the store for anything. I've got plenty of tomatoes that's for sure, but I've been eating them so regularly my lips and tongue are becoming sensitive to the acid! Yikes.

I picked fresh figs from my neighbors tree, well...picked and ate, lol, talk about a kid in a candy store....whoops, ther goes a whole days worth of calories.

I love figs. I love my life.


Teresa said...

Tracy, I'm so envious. Fresh figs! I remember eating them with impunity as a kid growing up in the Bay Area. Now that I'm in the Midwest, all we can get are expensive little baskets at Whole Foods a couple times a year.

Love your recipes, too.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Figs are like candy! As I sit here and think about all the figs I could possibly eat, waiting for me right across the street, it's tough to not go and load up!

At Ross and Gayles I had some awesome goat cheese I spread on them...yum!