Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rainbow Veggies

This is what my garden basket looked like two evenings ago:

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

I love bright colors in any form, but somehow they're extra special when they come from the garden. The cabbage was one that was getting some weird mold all over the outside leaves and not growing anymore, so I went ahead and picked it. Then there are tomatoes, basil, a pimento pepper and scarlet runner beans.

I adore the way the runner beans look when they're growing, and how they attract hummingbirds to our yard, but check out how they look when you shell them:

Neon pink beans!

When the bean pods are large, but still good and green, you can shell them and cook up the beans easily, and they are so very tasty. I hadn't tried cooking fresh shelled beans before so I didn't do very many, but man, were they good! I just boiled them for about two minutes, then drained and salted them. This is what they look like after cooking:

We'll eat a few more fresh, but the rest will be dried and shelled for use in soups this winter, and some saved for planting next year. On advice from my mom, I'll just let the pods dry on the vine as long as the weather allows it, then pick them and let them dry in a basket somewhere warm and dry (upstairs in the garret!) until they are extra dry and rattle in the pods. The dried beans are huge, and spotted black and purple.

With all the veggies above, this was our dinner on Wednesday:

Simple pasta tossed with all the veggies and herbs and some garlic and olive oil, and the beans mixed in, and braised cabbage (which is a fancy way of saying I fried it in a bunch of butter). There's absolutely nothing like fresh young purple cabbage- it's so sweet! My other favorite way to cook it is to steam it in milk. What are your favorite veggies this time of year?