|Heirloom beans. Photo: Brent Ridge, Beekman 1802.|
Native daughter Rachael Ray has a profound appreciation for the farmlands of upstate New York, and just paid a visit to Beekman 1802 to learn more about our farm-to-table project with The American Hotel.
What does one make when Rachael Ray comes to dinner? We knew it had to be 1) delicious, 2) simple, and 3) easy. So we traipsed out to the garden for inspiration and found a few tender new green beans just ready for the picking. These are sometimes referred to by their French name, haricot vert, which translates to, you guessed it, "green bean."
Our "yummo" recipe and a bit about our hills of heirloom beans, after the jump.
In the Beekman 1802 heirloom vegetable garden this year we've planted (among dozens of other plants we'll tell you about over the next several months):
Purple Pod Pole Bean Also known as Purple Peacock, this is a European Heirloom found by Henry Field in an old garden in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Plants climb to 6 feet tall and produce long purple pods which blanch to light green.
Contender Bush Bean Introduced in 1949, this very popular bean has remained a favorite of gardeners for more than 50 years. The 18 inch plant is resistant to viruses and tolerant of heat.
Landreth Stringless Beans An original introduction of the Landreth Company from 1885. For years Landreth advertised this bean as the earliest of the bush beans: They are stringless, fiberless and tasty.
In honor of Rachael's visit, we asked Chef Lee Woolver of The American Hotel to create a special dish in her honor.
Green Bean "Slaw"
2 slices bacon cut into 1/4 in. pieces
Small clove garlic, fine diced or grated
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 carrot, julienned
1 parsnip, julienned
1/2 red onion, julienned
1/2 red pepper, julienned
2 cups blanched haricot vert, cooked in salted water then "shocked" in ice water (should still be a little crisp.)
Hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, to taste.
2 hard-boiled eggs (Optional)
Fry bacon in a large, heavy skillet until crisp. Remove pan from heat, harvest bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for garnish.
While the bacon drippings are hot but with the pan still off of the flame, stir in garlic to cook in the residual heat. Add celery seed, black pepper, salt, water, vinegar, dijon and honey. Return to the flame and whisk until well-combined.
Add carrot, parsnip, red onion, red pepper and beans. Toss with the dressing over low heat until all has been warmed. Correct seasonings with additional salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with bacon bits and chopped parsley and chopped, hard-boiled eggs (if desired). Serve warm or at room temperature. Flavors will improve with time but the bright green color of the beans will start to fade after an hour or so.
We know what you'll say after the first bite: Yummo!