Garlic Chili Dilly Runner Beans

August 31, 2012

garlic chili dilly runner beans

Yesterday, I posted one of our simplest and favouritest summer meals: crispy chicken with Nonna’s green beans. We eat green beans a lot around here, since they are a favourite vegetable of at least three members of our family. Seasonal, nutritious, tender-crisp, sweet, done in a jiffy – does it get any better?

Yes, it does, apparently. A LOT better! I decided to get creative with some runner beans gifted to me by a friend and avid gardener. One thing I love is pickled vegetables, especially garlic-dill pickled vegetables. (By this I mean mildly sour homemade pickled vegetables.) The craving hit me, there were no homemade pickles in the house, and I decided to try making a warm pickled vegetable dish for the family dinner, using my friend’s beans.

The result was this amazing dish of garlic-chili braised runner beans, which I promptly fell in love with and christened Garlic Chili Dilly Runner Beans. You MUST try them. I added a splash of vinegar as an homage to pickles, but the beans weren’t sour, just unbelievably flavourful. If you want to increase or decrease the sourness, adjust the vinegar.

crispy chicken with garlic chili dilly runner beans

Crispy Broiled Chicken Drumsticks, steamed quinoa, Garlic Chili Dilly Runner Beans

This meal is in two pictures, because we also ate a simple green salad of yummy things I had picked up that day at the Moss St Market: yellow and black Russian cherry tomatoes from Haliburton Farm, gorgeous lettuce and delicious Middle Eastern cucumbers from Saanich Organics, grated young carrots and fresh parsley from another farm whose name I forget.

Moss Street Market Salad

Moss Street Market Salad

KID RATING (two boys, 7 and 11)
Crispy Broiled Chicken Drumsticks – big hit, of course
Steamed white quinoa with butter or coconut oil – A hit – my kids have been eating quinoa since they were toddlers, so they are familiar with it and enjoy it.
Garlic Chili Dilly Runner Beans – 11-year-old LOVED this and ate two servings; 7-year-old, in an unusual fit of petulance, refused to even try it. This violates a firm house rule (RULE: “You must give every food one good try”), but he was having an off day with not much appetite to speak of, and since he is normally game to try anything, I let this one pass. Next time.
Market Green Salad – 7-year-old loves salad and gobbled his up. 11-year-old loves raw vegetables but for some reason does not like them chopped up together in a salad (blerg…), so he got a raw veggie plate instead.

 Ruben's market veggie plate

Ruben’s Moss St Market veggie plate

Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much you love these beans.
This delicious recipe is an homage to homemade spicy garlic-dill pickled beans. I’ve added only a splash of vinegar to enhance the flavours. If you would like the beans to be more sour and more “pickly”, add more vinegar as you see fit.

1 to 1-1/2 lb fresh runner beans or green beans
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole dried chili, seeded and minced, OR 1/2 tsp chili flakes, or more, to taste
2 to 3 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tsp sherry vinegar*, or more, to taste

*Feel free to substitute cider vinegar or white wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar

Trim beans by cutting off the stems and any sad-looking tails. Cut runner beans into 1/2-inch length pieces. if using green beans, cut them into 1-inch pieces. Rinse and drain.

Combine prepared garlic, chilies, and olive oil in a large saute pan. Place pan over a large burner and heat together to medium heat. Stir and cook until garlic is fragrant and sticky and chili darkens slightly, a minute or two.

Add prepared beans with the salt and about 1/4 cup of water. Stir well. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are softened, about 6 to 10 minutes. By the time the beans are cooked, the water should be mostly evaporated, but adjust the heat and add water as needed so the beans do not dry out and burn before they are cooked.

Once the beans are almost cooked, remove cover and let remaining liquid evaporate. Stir in vinegar, then fresh dill. Stir well. Taste for salt and sourness and adjust if necessary. Serve immediately.

I have no idea how the leftovers taste, because there weren’t any.

Just before we licked the pot clean

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