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From the kitchen: Beans thrive for long seasons in backyard gardens

This week's recipes focus on including beans in various dishes.
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

Lurking in the crisper might be several packages of green beans grown in the backyard garden.

It is interesting to note that in 2020 the world production of green beans was 23 million tonnes, proving the productive nature of even a small space devoted to beans.

There are more than 130 varieties of green beans, originating first in Central and South America. Raw green beans are 90 per cent water and contain negligible amounts of fat.

Pole beans especially will produce well into the fall season.

This week’s recipes offer ideas for preparation of beans.

• • •

Bean and Bacon Salad

12 oz. beans, green and yellow
2-3 cups water
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsps. bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. liquid honey
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard, Dijon or regular
sea salt to taste

Remove ends from beans and cook until tender in water. When soft, remove from heat, drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.

Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Remove 2 tbsps. bacon fat and place in small mixing bowl.

Add olive oil to skillet and cook onions until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Return bacon and stir in with onions. Add cooked beans and mix well. Turn off heat but keep bacon, onions and beans warm.

In the small bowl with the bacon fat (or vegetable oil), add the vinegar, mustard, honey and sea salt. Whisk vigorously until a thick, cream dressing forms.

In a larger bowl, spoon the bacon and bean mixture. Pour the vinegar sauce over and mix well to ensure beans are coated. Serve while warm.

Leftover bean mixture may be frozen. 

• • •

Green Bean Quiche

8 oz. fresh green beans
1 1/2 cups milk
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup biscuit mix
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 large eggs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch deep dish pie plate.

Remove ends from beans. Place beans in 1 inch of water, bring to a boil and boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and cook another 5-10 minutes until beans are tender. Drain and pour into a large bowl.

Mix beans, mushrooms, onion, garlic and cheese and pour into the pie plate.

Beat eggs, milk and seasonings then add biscuit mix and beat until smooth. Pour over bean mixture in pie plate.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool for five minutes. Slide a knife around edge of quiche. Slice and serve.

• • •

Lemon Beans

1 1/2 tsps. lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
green or yellow beans, cooked and drained

Mix lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings. Pour over cooked beans and serve hot or cold as a salad.

Joyce Walter can be reached at       

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