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While green beans are a staple of many holiday dinners, they’re often taken for granted or, frankly, down right underappreciated. Just think of how delicious they can be—bright and sweet, with that satisfying crunch. At the moment, we have a wonderful green bean dish on the menu, and it’s a hands-down favorite. In fact, it’s so popular that we’ve decided to share our recipe with you as a bit of a holiday treat!

But first, a bit of context. The beans for the dish come from Whitewater Gardens  Farm, which has been one of our most long-standing vendors. We’ve worked with them for five years already! Lonny and Sandy Dietz run the farm themselves; they’re a small operation, but manage to produce some great produce off of the 6 to 10 acres of vegetables. They’re not far from Rochester, either—just over by Whitewater State Park in Altura. You might remember them best from our Dinner in the Garden event with them this past fall. They also operate a CSA program, appear at local farmers’ markets, and participate in the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

One of the neatest things is that they now have geothermal heating. They started out with small hoop houses, but they’re moving on to bigger ones. Combine these with that geothermal heat, and they’ve got some fine winter production going on. And yep, you guessed it: tomatoes during a Minnesota winter, and as early as next week! They have some other tasty products, though, including peppers and these green beans. (In fact, they’re also doing cucumbers, which we’ll be featuring sometime soon. First, though, we’re going to turn their amazing little cucumbers into house-made cornichons. Stay tuned for those tasty tidbits at the restaurant.)

Speaking of green beans, here we are! May you have many wonderful meals during the coming weeks of holiday celebrations.

Whitewater Gardens Green Beans

Serves 4 to 5

1 lb green beans, stemmed
1/2 gallon peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Pinch of chili flakes
1/2 c. chicken stock
2 T. peanut oil
Salt to taste

Heat peanut oil to 350°F in a large pot—large enough that it will hold a gallon of liquid. Carefully blanch the green beans in the hot oil until skin just starts to blister.
Remove green beans (carefully!) and place them on a sheet pan lined with a kitchen towel.

Heat a large sauté pan, then add 2 T. oil. When it starts to smoke, add the blanched green beans with garlic and chili flakes, then toss until coated. Sauté for twenty seconds, then add chicken stock. Keep sautéing until chicken stock has evaporated. Season to taste. Serve hot.