Our pole beans in the backyard are finally starting to produce. The photo above shows some Kentucky Wonders that I am hoping will give us enough beans to ferment.
So far the Scarlet Runners have climbed an impressive 7+ feet in the air and given us loads of showy red flowers, but only a few bean pods (unless they are all on the far side of the fence in the neighbor’s yard!). I anticipate more beans to harvest as the days grow shorter, but at the moment there were only a handful ready.
Between the two crops, I had enough beans for a side dish, and I decided to showcase them simply a la Alice Waters, sauteed with lemon cucumber and served alongside wild salmon and herb aioli, some sort of dip being a necessary concession to entice my mother to eat more fish. This aioli was the first I have ever made successfully by hand-whisking, so I consider it quite an achievement. I added whey to half of it and lacto-fermented it for a few extra days’ storage, and then mixed the rest with lots of fresh parsley and tarragon from our garden, plus some lemon zest and a garlic clove pasted with salt—call it gremolata aioli, if you like. A simple, fresh, healthy meal to celebrate the start of the green bean season!