It’s Okay To Be Green

It’s not only okay to be green, but when the items in the CSA Bag are green it is great! Now don’t get me wrong some of the items were very colorful; like the eggplant, tomatoes and onions, but the majority of the items were green.





celery editedThe first vegetable sticking out my bag was celery. Not just that pale green celery that you buy at the store (the picture does not do it justice) but a dark vibrant green, that had lots of flavor and very little stringiness. Celery can be stored in the refrigerator, but tends to wilt very quickly. Just put in cold water for a hour and it will crisp back up.





peppers editedThe next thing I pulled out of the bag was three large Marconni Peppers or Sweet Italian Roasters. You could tell that there has been a surplus of rain because the peppers were covered in dried on mud. Boy am I glad that I didn’t have to walk the field and pick them. These are great roasted, and the skins are easy to peel. You can use them like a green pepper in many recipes.



green tomatoes editedThe third green vegetable that I pulled out were a couple of firm green tomatoes. Now in our house we are always hoping that the tomatoes that are green, turn red before the first frost kills the plants. But our southern neighbors can’t understand how we can wait for that tomato to turn red, just pick them green and enjoy that southern favorite of fried green tomatoes.


stew editedSince I had all this green produce why not find a recipe that I could combine them and make a veggie packed meal. The original recipe I found is called Beef and Green Tomato Casserole which I found on CHOW. Because I am not known to follow a recipe exactly, I did change up a few things.




Beef and Green Tomato Casserole

10 ounces white pearl onions (With all those garden onions, just cut them up & browned them with the peppers)
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dusting beef, plus 1/4 cup for stew
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 medium green bell peppers, large dice (Yellow and Marconni peppers were used)
2 medium stalks celery, large dice (About 1 cup of diced celery)
5 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (Don’t get me wrong we like garlic, but just 2 cloves were used)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 3 teaspoons fresh)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef broth
4 medium green, unripe tomatoes, large dice (Don’t worry no one will realize there are green tomatoes in this pot)
2 medium bay leaves
Sweet Potato Biscuits or your favorite biscuit recipe (Made sweet potato biscuits with whole wheat flour)


Season beef well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put 1/4 cup flour in a dish, add beef pieces, and toss to coat; shake off excess flour. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add beef in a single layer (do this in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add onions, bell peppers, and celery to the pot; stir well and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté vegetables until they begin to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and tomato paste, and cook 1 minute more. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring frequently, until flour is well combined, about 2 minutes.
Pour in wine and deglaze, by scraping up any browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula, and allow to reduce slightly, about 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seared beef with any accumulated juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so stew is barely simmering. Cook, covered, until meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. (Check occasionally to make sure mixture is not boiling.) I put the Dutch oven in the oven at 350°F and baked for 1 1/2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Prepare biscuit dough, cut it into circles, and cover with a clean, dry towel until stew is ready. If you’ve made the stew in a large Dutch oven, transfer it to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and top with biscuits; or you can simply place biscuits on top of stew in the pot and brush them with a little heavy cream. Bake casserole until biscuits are crispy on top and golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes. (I put the stew in individual ramekins them placed the biscuit on top and baked for 35 minutes.)

The stew was a bit more labor intense then I had originally thought but once the end product came out of the oven it smelt heavenly and was even better the next day or two. If you don’t think that you can eat the entire recipe in four days, you can freeze it.



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