Recipes and Preparation Ideas

Trudy's Green Bean Idea: always fried her green beans, whole, raw in garlic and olive oil. She cooked them on low heat for at least 30 to 40 and when they were caramelized, withered and getting brown, she would add one small can of tomato sauce and again let that cook on low heat until the sauce was absorbed.

Dilly Beans - From 'Wild Fermentation' (Thanks Brittany!)
Hi Ryan,

Here's the recipe for dilly beans from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz:
Special Equipment:
Sealable canning jars and lids (1 1/2 pint size is best, as its height perfectly accommodates the length of string beans)
String beans
Whole dried chili peppers
Celery seed
Fresh dill (flowering tops best, or leaves)
White distilled vinegar
1. Guesstimate how many jars you'll fill with the string beans you have. Sterilize jars and line them up.
2. Into each jar, place 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 whole red chili pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed, and a flowering dill top or small bunch of dill leaves. Then fill the jar with beans standing on end, stuffing them as tightly as you can into the jar.
3. For each jar you have filled, measure 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Boil the vinegar-water mixture, then pour it into the jars over the beans and spices, to 1/2 inch from the top of the jar.
4. Seal the jars and place them in a large pot of boiling water for a 10-minute heat processing. (Brittany's editorial note: make sure your water bath canner is tall enough - and your jars are short enough - so that the boiling water covers the jars by at least an inch.)
Leave the dilly beans for at least 6 weeks for the flavors to meld, then open jars as desired and enjoy. Unopened heat-processed pickles can be stored for years without refrigeration.

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup (from Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook c.1999)

6 Medium Leeks (If you use the entire plant as I recommend, you can just use 1 large leek or two medium leeks)
4 Medium Potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) ready-to-serve vegetable broth (you could also make your own broth)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup half-and-half
Chopped fresh chives, if desired
Mix all ingredients except half-and-half and chives in 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours (or high heat setting 4-5 hours) or until vegetables are tender.
Pour vegetable mixture by batches into blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth; return to cooker. Stir in half-and-half.
Cover and cook on low heat setting 20 to 30 minutes or until hot.
Sprinkle with chives.

Oven Roasted Kale (We call them Kale Chips)

For this great, quick and easy recipe, simply tear the Kale into appropriately sized pieces. Keep in mind that it shrinks a bit when it is roasting. You can either include the stems or separate and discard them into the compost. Toss the torn pieces in olive oil and then sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sometimes I add additional herbs and garlic if the mood strikes me. Place on a cookie sheet and put into a 400 degree oven for 6-10 minutes. The Kale should be crispy like chips but still retain a color that is green and just starting to brown.  Blackened Kale Chips have been overcooked. Enjoy.