Fare Exchange: Readers offer variations on a green-bean salad

Fare Exchange: Readers offer variations on a green-bean salad

June 12th, 2013 Jane Henegar in Life Entertainment

TO REACH US

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

E-mail: chattfare@gmail.com

Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, readers. June is now in full swing, and I would wager that you are, too. This week's mail was full of poppy seeds and green beans and salads to freeze, but nary a request.

So hearken to these from days past: Cheddar cheese scones, Swiss chard, local trout, dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, ceviche and how to preserve chopped garlic like the jars found in grocery stories.

There is more than one way to salad a green bean, as today's recipes prove. These salads call for fresh or canned green beans, and it seems likely that they could be used interchangeably. There is an interesting mix of tender baby kale, Swiss chard and spinach available at Whole Foods these days; we are broadening the concept of salad at every turn.

Ginny Gaines' salad calls for fresh green beans.

Green Bean Salad

12 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed

1/3 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

4 green onions, sliced

1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Lime wedges (optional)

In a 2-quart microwave-safe dish, add green beans and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring halfway. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Transfer to serving dish. Toss with parsley, green onions, celery, oil and juice. Cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle with salt and pepper; squeeze a little lime juice from the wedge and place on top. Makes 4-6 servings.

Signal Mountain Rose offered three versions, all using canned green beans.

Green Bean Salad No. 1

2 drained cans Blue Lake Green Beans

1 tall can artichoke hearts, quartered

1 can drained mushroom pieces

Bottled Italian dressing

Mix together. Pour Italian dressing to taste over mixture and marinate for several hours in refrigerator before serving.

Green Bean Salad No. 2

1 (No. 2) can Blue Lake green beans

1 (No. 2) can Le Sueur Peas

1 small pimento

2 or 3 stalks celery

2 or 3 onions

1 bell pepper

1/2 cup oil

1 cup vinegar

1 cup sugar

Salt and pepper

Drain green beans and peas well. Mince 1 small canned pimiento. Finely chop celery and onions and bell pepper.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and sugar. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Toss with drained vegetables, chill and serve.

Green Bean Salad No. 3 (Episcopal Beans)

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons salad oil

1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves

1 onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 (No. 2) cans whole green beans, drained

Mix together the sugar, vinegar and water until sugar is dissolved. Add oil, garlic, onion and salt and pepper. Gently stir in well-drained green beans.

Prepare at least 12 hours before serving so the flavors will penetrate and mingle. This will keep for days in the refrigerator, and the liquid that is left can be used again for onions, cabbage, or more beans.

And what, you ask, makes a dish an Episcopal dish? Rose's aunt, who gave her the recipe, also gave it that name. "No doubt she took it to covered dish dinners at her church. She has been gone for many years and I treasure this recipe in her handwriting. Reusing the marinade is her suggestion, not mine."


For variety, we will next include Diane Marrs' frozen fruit salad, but then resume the green-bean theme with her salad, this one featuring three beans.

Frozen Fruit Salad

1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce

1 (16-ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained

2 bananas, mashed

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

12 ounces Cool Whip

Mix all ingredients together and freeze in foil cupcake liners. You may make well in advance and freeze until about 20 minutes before serving time.

Marinated Three-Bean Salad

2 cups green beans

2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans

2 (15-ounce) can butter beans

2 cups celery, sliced

1 large onion, sliced

1 medium green or red bell pepper, sliced

Drain canned vegetables and combine all vegetables in a large bowl. Prepare dressing.

Dressing

3/4 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed chopped basil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Pour over vegetables. Mix well.

Cover and chill overnight. Stir several times.

Makes about 10 servings. Keeps well in refrigerator.


Just a Dash ...

Today's mealtime solution was not mailed, but reported by observers of two mamas who have nine children between them. Simplify, simplify, they say, echoing Henry David Thoreau. The secret: popcorn.

Mama One's afternoon ritual is serving popcorn to her children on the back porch. It's a porch-only enjoyment, and I will assume the birds get what the kids don't. Mama Two offers this simple supper when she must be gone, and it does the job without requiring a single pan: popcorn and apple slices.

If I had my own years of mothering little ones to live over again, I would follow their lead. No need for all food groups, and everything doesn't have to be sugary-sweet. I know a mother from another generation who always served a huge bowl of popcorn for Sunday night supper after a massive Sunday lunch. And nobody complained.

This may not seem like news to you, but reminding each other to simplify is always news, and always good news.

So now we hope to get other summertime shortcuts from more of you for our new Just a Dash. What ideas and hints and easy menus and how-to's are making your kitchen life tastier and easier?