Beans with Pecans, Lemon, and Parsley

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 recipe Cook-and- Hold Beans (recipe to follow)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or chervil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  1. You can change the type of nuts and use an orange instead of a lemon. Although using a rasp-style grater for the zest is quick, this dish is very pretty with thin strips of zest made by a channel zester.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Stir in the pecans and cook, stirring often, until they are crisp and the butter is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and toss to mix. Heat through, about 5 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Cook-and-Hold Beans Finished with a Flourish

1 pound slender snap beans, stem ends trimmed

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per cup of water. Add the beans and cook until just tender, as few as 5 minutes for fillet beans and up to 25 minutes for larger beans. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to immediately transfer into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.
  2. Drain the beans and spread them in a shallow layer over a few sheets of white paper towel or a clean tea towel and roll up loosely into a log shape. Put the roll in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Sheri’s Tomato Jam served on Baguette with Chevre

Makes about 3 cups

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice

  1. This is a little sweet, so it’s jam in my book. It’s also spicy, so it perks up foods that could use a little zip.
  2. Think of it as a sophisticated combination of ketchup, chile sauce, and chutney. It’s good on sandwiches, on vegetables (especially field peas), on crispy fried things, on meatloaf, and with cheese. This small batch will keep in the refrigerator for a few months without sealing the jars.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the cinnamon, coriander, cumin, cloves, allspice, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, and tomatoes.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and almost all of the liquid cooks away, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the salt, pepper, and honey, increase the heat and boil until the jam is shiny and thick, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let the jam cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer the jam into a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store covered and refrigerated for up to 3 months.

All recipes are:
FARM BOXES. Copyright © 2011 by Sheri Castle. Photographs © 2011 by Stewart Waller. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.