Transitions + RECIPE: Charred Green Beans with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

We said goodbye to our CSA members again on Wednesday.

Every year, this is always such a bittersweet time for us. We always gain so much space in our lives when the CSA is finished for the season. And we are so grateful for that. The regular rhythm of drafting CSA communications every Monday, harvesting thousands of pounds of veggies every Tuesday and packing them every Wednesday for 18 weeks gets a bit exhausting by this time of year and we’re always happy for the break from routine that the end of the CSA brings.

We relish the opportunity to take little trips away from home and work on larger farm projects like building shelves, reworking water lines inside the pack shed, improving systems, and harvesting and trimming hemp. The kinds of things that get consistently pushed to the back of the to do list when we have a constant harvest to keep up with.

The end of the CSA is a welcome change in so many ways, but then we remember we won’t have that routine again for 245 days and that feels so sad. It will be 245 days until we get to deliver beautiful boxes of produce to our local community again. It will be 245 days until I get to wax poetic about our deep love of CSA in our weekly newsletters.

The growing season in Wisconsin can feel so long when you are stuck in the middle of it, but in fact, it’s so very short. And we know that fall and winter, though a much anticipated break from the chaos and a much needed time to plan and make the next round of growing happen, will get to feeling empty without people to serve each week.

We love our CSA members. We not only love growing food for them, we love knowing they’re back at their own homes, bonding over our vegetables and learning to cook together. We love imagining them clicking through recipes, trying to find the best way to use their produce. We can get bogged down by the details and overwhelmed by the work when we don’t have members texting us photos of their adorable children every week.

So we’re sad for the end of another CSA season, and we’re also really happy. We leave for a little camping trip later this afternoon and it will be perfect. The best kind of ending to a tremendously wonderful growing season.

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And so, in honor of the last box of the season and the “big freeze” that folks threaten is coming our way while we’re gone, here is one last summer-y recipe before I get into the wild wild world of root vegetables, greens, and storage crops. It’s a recipe I adapted from Alison Roman’s first cookbook called Dining In. This is one of my favorite cookbooks from one of my favorite recipe developers. I didn’t need to do much since it’s already a really excellent recipe. I added a bit more green beans (because more vegetables is always the answer), used almonds instead of hazelnuts, added a whole lot of apple cider vinegar and made a slightly looser tahini yogurt sauce. I loved her original recipe, but simplified it a bit for the way that we cook and the types of items we keep in our pantry. I hope you enjoy and are having your own wonderful transition into fall and the waning harvest season.

In love and abundance,

Your Leek

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Adapted from the Dining In Cookbook

Takes 20 minutes
Serves 2 for a meal or 4 as a side

2 pounds green beans
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1 jalapeno, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, cook your green beans for 5 minutes then drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. While you wait for the water to boil, you can do a few other things. First toast almonds (either in the oven or on the stove). Then in a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons vinegar with jalapeno, garlic, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt.
  3. In another small bowl, combine yogurt, tahini, water, remaining vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Once your beans have been blanched and cooled, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until it glistens. Toss the blanched green beans in there and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook over medium high heat, stirring every minute or two until most sides of the green beans are a little charred (about 10 minutes).
  5. Serve by spreading yogurt mixture over a shallow bowl and topping with green beans. Sprinkle with quick pickled jalapenos and almonds before enjoying. Season with flaky sea salt (or more Kosher salt) and more freshly ground pepper before serving.

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