August 10, 2009

10 Aug

Dear Summer CSA Members,

Please remember that pick up time is between 2pm and 6:30pm.

There are only two weeks left for this season. I want to remind you to sign up soon. We have about 175 full year members and 35 new fall sign ups, so there are about 90 spots left. That may seems like a lot but there are new members signing up every day.  The cost is $260 for a small fall share and $468 for a large. This price does not include the $40 volunteer fee that you should have paid for your summer share or another season this year.  If you have not paid a $40 volunteer fee or have questions about it, please let me know. You may pay by check or credit card, over the phone or in person at the stand. Thank you so much for your support of Fairview Gardens and your enthusiasm about our produce.

I have noticed that many of you have wondered about the mysterious “Shelling Bean” that you have been receive in your share. I thought I would do a bit of internet research to tell you about the origin of the flageolet bean and also give you recipes about how to cook and use them.  Fairview Gardens was my first introduction to the flageolet beans and I have come to love and savor them, as I know you will as well. We call them a “Shelling Bean” because they are grown similar to a green bean in a pod and then are put through our shelling machine to take off the tough exterior. They are ready to cook since our shelling machine has done the difficult work for you (unlike the fava bean in which two shells must be removed). So far I have eaten them as a side dish with a little olive oil salt pepper and herbs, on a salad, as a part of a stir-fry, and in a burrito. Traditionally these beans are served as a side with lamb, but I will include a few other recipes and hope you will enjoy experimenting.

Here are a few excerpts about the history of the Flageolet Bean from http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au:

This is a type of bean of the species Phaseolus vulgaris which was originally developed in France in the 1800s… It was first obtained by a French grower called Gabriel Chevrier, in… a suburb of Paris, between 1872 and 1878… This variety was to become very famous in the top restaurants of Paris and later (a few years later) in all French households as in those days the French had a palate unspoiled by artificial food and from the uneducated Parisian to the most pompous upper class gourmet they were all able to recognize something good when they tried it for the first time and they usually were not content with trying it only once… if it felt good or tasted good it became part of life. Today however the Flageolet bean “CHEVRIER VERT”, is an endangered heirloom, including in its birth place: France, where, along with many other thousands of traditional varieties of vegetables, its production is officially “en regression.”

I hope you enjoy your French endangered heirloom flageolet beans this week.

Au revoir,

Jen 

Sneak Peek:

 Small Share:

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Flageolet Beans

Peppers

Bunched Onions

Collards

 Large Share:

Flageolet Beans

Strawberries

Garlic

Corn

Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Peppers

Collards

Bunch Onions

Recipes:

How to cook flageolets (from Erik Steinberg, our personal chef farm apprentice and farmer’s marketer): Boil beans for approximately 20 minutes with onion, garlic, and fresh herbs. Do not salt the water as it will make the skin of the bean tough. Then enjoy or add to a dish…

Flageolet Beans with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (from http://www.finecooking.com)

by Erica De Mane

Ingredients:

For the tomatoes:

2 lb. ripe plum tomatoes

1 tsp. kosher salt

For the beans:

1 lb. dried flageolet beans, soaked at least 6 hours (since your beans are fresh, you do not need to soak)

1 carrot, peeled and cut in half

1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme

Kosher salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

Roast the tomatoes — Heat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Core the tomatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Put them on the baking sheet, cut side up, and sprinkle with the salt. Bake the tomatoes until they look dry but are still slightly plump and not leathery, 4 to 6 hours, depending on their size. Cut any large pieces in half.

Cook the beans — Drain the soaking beans and put them in a large pot along with the carrot, onion, and bay leaves. Tie the parsley and thyme together and add them to the pot. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 2 hours. Check that the beans stay covered with liquid, adding more if needed. When the beans are tender, add the salt. (The beans can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Remove the carrot, onion, herbs, and bay leaves and refrigerate the beans in their liquid.)

In a Dutch oven or high-sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the celery and cook until softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. Add the beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid to the celery and garlic. Add the slow-roasted tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. (At this point, the dish can be covered and held up to an hour at room temperature.)

Harvest Wild Rice (from http://www.epicurious.com/)

Gourmet, November 1994

Ingredients:

3 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1/2 pound dried flageolets (since you beans are not dried, first simmer rice in broth and then add beans 20 minutes into cooking the rice)

3/4 cup wild rice (about 4 ounces)

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and chopped coarse

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preparation:

In a large saucepan simmer broth, water, and beans, covered, 45 minutes. Stir in wild rice and simmer, covered, 45 minutes, or until beans and rice are tender. Drain rice mixture and return to pan.

Cut leeks crosswise into 1/2-inch slices and in a bowl soak in water, agitating occasionally to dislodge any sand, 5 minutes. Lift leeks out of water and drain in a colander. In a non-stick skillet sauté leeks in butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms with salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir leek mixture into rice mixture. Rice mixture may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat mixture, adding water to prevent it from sticking to skillet, before proceeding.

Stir hazelnuts and cranberries into rice mixture and serve warm.

Rack of Lamb with Flageolet Gratin (from http://www.saveur.com/)

The small, pale green kidney-shaped beans called flageolets are a classic accompaniment for lamb in traditional French cuisine.

For the lamb:

2 long branches rosemary

8 sprigs thyme and a handful of thyme branches

4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

2 racks of lamb (12 chops in all), fat trimmed from bones

Salt

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into wedges

1 head garlic, halved

For the flageolet gratin:

2 small yellow onions, peeled

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 cup flageolets

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1 chille de árbol or other dried chile

Salt

3 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 tbsp. brown butter

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley

Tapenade

1. For the lamb: Mix together the leaves from 2 sprigs of the rosemary, 8 sprigs of the thyme, garlic cloves, oil, and pepper in a small baking dish, then rub the mixture all over the lamb racks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. For the flageolet gratin: Preheat oven to 400°. Dice half of 1 onion and sauté in oil with fennel and garlic in an ovenproof pot over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flageolets, cook for 2–3 minutes, then add thyme, bay leaf, chile, and 3 cups water. Bake, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt halfway through cooking (add more water if beans dry out). Set aside to cool (remove and discard bay leaf and chile). Leave oven on.

3. Thinly slice remaining 1 1/2 onions and sauté in butter in a medium pan over medium heat until golden, about 15 minutes. Spread onions in the bottom of a 6” X 6” baking dish, then spoon in flageolets with some of their cooking juices. Toss bread crumbs with brown butter and parsley, sprinkle over beans, and return to oven for 20 minutes.

4. Season lamb with salt, then sear on all sides in a cast-iron pan over high heat, with rosemary branches, broken into a few pieces, and thyme branches. Scatter onions and garlic in a roasting pan, put lamb on top, and roast in oven for 20–25 minutes. Set lamb aside to rest for 5 minutes. Remove flageolets from oven when bubbling and golden, and divide between 4 plates. Slice each rack into 6 chops, place 3 chops on top of each serving of flageolets, and spoon some tapenade over the meat.

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