Friday, July 29, 2011

Sticker Shock for Dilly Green Beans

I wanted to make these green beans that I enjoyed at the Humble Feast last Monday. The Humble Feast is a monthly dinner event put on by Devra Gartenstein of the Patty Pan Grill, a long time food vendor at many Seattle markets.

The only problem with making these beans was I didn't want to wait until Saturday.

And I had to have them.

I usually get much of my produce from Rent's Due Ranch on Saturdays. And as you know, I'm trying to stay on food budget so I can't really buy impulsively, but I figured beans are beans, and even if organic they couldn't possibly cost more than organic green beans from Rent's Due Ranch.

So, I went to the market with $20 plus $5 in case I went over the projected amount, which by the way almost always happens when market shopping. Plus (whine alert) I'm already dipping into next week's allotment. I figured $4 a pound for beans, the price I paid on last Saturday at Rent's Due Ranch.

Imagine my jaw dropping when I saw the $5.99 price tag from the only vendor selling organic green beans at the market. What gives with the prices? I don't know.

When I ask, all I get is this is the cost to grow them. But how can one organic farm charge $4 and another in the same state charge $6? This is the highest price I've ever seen on regular organic green beans. I'm not mentioning the vendor, but if you saw them, you know who they are.

Sad to say, but I can see why many people choose grocery store since you can buy locally grown green beans for $2.50 a pound. (Not organic, but seriously, $6 a pound??) I should have waited and gone to the grocery store, but I forked over the money. Hence the whining.

My cooking assistant says "get over it."

He isn't impressed with green beans anyway.

I got new potatoes last Saturday from John Huschle of Nature's Last Stand who mentioned he'd been at the U-District market for 19 years. John was the farmer on the cover of my first book. Now he owns his own farm, is married and has two great children.

Here's the recipe I made based on Devra's fine recipe:

Dilly Green Beans and Potatoes

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar from Rockridge Orchards
1/4 cup water
1/2 head fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill
1 pound fresh green beans, washed, trimmed and blanched
1 pound new potatoes, steamed until fork tender, then rinsed under cold water
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine vinegar, water, garlic and dill in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and pour over green beans and potatoes in a serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve this dish warm or chill and serve later.

See what I mean about bean haters? This is a great dish to try if you want to convert anyone.

My Assistant stole one of these beans. He did it so quickly, the photo I snapped was blurred. He couldn't help himself. A secret I didn't have the courge to confess to Tom who enjoyed the beans without a clue.

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