Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Plethora of Beans

A plethora of not just any kind of beans but French/filet beans or haricots verts, specifically Fortex. This early, stringless pole bean, and productive gourmet delight has been planted for many years now in my raised bed vegetable garden.  This year, once the soil warmed, the dark brown seeds were planted serially over several months for extended harvesting. "Scrumptious when fresh" and "the exceptionally long pods grow to over 10 inches" are quotes about Fortex from Territorial Seed Company's catalogue, as well as "the 6 foot tall vigorous plants require trellising." 
Exceptionally long Fortex fillet bean pods

 Fortex beans trellised on cattle panels

Abundance of Fortex beans for eating enjoyment


GREEN BEANS WITH EGG AND LEMON SAUCE for 2 people as main dish
1/2 pound Fortex beans freshly picked
2 tsp. sea salt, plus salt to taste
1 T. organic unsalted butter
1 duck egg (or 2 if you use chicken)
1/4 C. freshly squeezed Meyers lemon juice
Grated zest of 1 Meyers lemon
Freshly milled pepper

In a large pot, large enough to accommodate the full length Fortex beans, bring enough water to cover the beans generously to a rolling boil.  Drop in the beans and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well.

While the beans are cooking, in a bowl lightly beat the egg, then add the lemon juice and zest, and pepper to taste. Beat to mix.

In an 8" to 10" cast iron skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add beans lightly tossing to coat with the butter.  Add the egg mixture to the hot beans and stir quickly with a wooden spoon. NOTE: to keep the egg mixture from curdling, maintain the stove heat at the lowest possible setting.  

As soon as the sauce has set remove the pan from the heat, add salt to taste and serve hot.

2 whole organic chicken legs
1 C. chicken broth, or water is okay
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, lemon thyme adds a luscious touch
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 large yams or sweet potatoes, cut into 2" cubes
2 C. fresh Fortex beans cut into 1 to 1 1/2" lengths

In an 8" to 10" cast iron skillet sear the whole chicken legs on both sides. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer about an hour . . . until the chicken begins to fall from the bones and the vegetables are tender. Serve in pasta bowls so you can enjoy the rich broth along with the chicken and vegetables.  This freezes well, too.

"In this month the Gardener has great variety of Business and must employ his Head as well as his Hands toward furnishing his Kitchen Garden with everything necessary for Winter use." 
The Gentleman's and Gardener's Kalendar, 1724

MuRefuge pantry shelves

Cinquefoil blooming amidst Idaho fescue
While you furnish your "Kitchen Garden with everything necessary for Winter use"


  1. Hi Cathie,

    I shared the photo of your pantry on my food page (on facebook) and you are impressing people all over the country (even the world - I have some international followers too). It was the most popular post all week! Looks like you have kinds of delicious things in there, yum!

    We had the beans you sent with Dad sauteed in the cast iron frying pan. They tasted very fresh and delicious, thank you!


  2. Pantry is MOST impressive! WOW! What a harvest.