Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pepperoni Green Beans, Raised Vegetable Beds

Last Sunday I had friends over for dinner. Our dinner was based on what is growing in the garden.  I made chicken with herbs, onions, swiss chard , green and yellow peppers. It was served with a spicy brown rice, a garden salad (brought by my friend Dell). I also made a tomato salad with fresh mozzarella cheese and basil, sprinkled with olive oil. And for dessert two lemon meringue pies, one with a buttery pie crust and the other without for my gluten sensitive friend, and my Pepperoni Green Beans.  A few weeks ago Ted and I were shopping at Sam’s Club and we tasted their fresh made pizza made with pepperoni. Of course, we bought one. At home I baked it and served it with fresh picked green beans. This inspired me to make up the following recipe.

Fresh Green Beans, boiled or steamed for about 5 minutes.
10 small pepperoni slices, diced.
1 can drained garbanzo beans.
Fry diced pepperoni, (I blotted the extra fat)
add garbanzo beans. Add green beans and finish cooking. Add butter as desired. (I guess, I could of skipped the blotting).
Add salt and pepper to taste.

My friend Dell later said her favorite part of the meal was first the chicken, then the green beans, but then she said she really liked the tomato salad. And, of  course the lemon meringue pie.  She asked for the recipe for the green beans, asking how they stayed so tender and green.  And, that she would be making these green beans.  I asked Ted what was his favorite part of the meal. He said that we had leftovers! Before making up this recipe, I did google “pepperoni green beans” and found no results. So here it is, an original!
PS – I do plan to post the recipe for my Lemon Meringue Pie which I made with one of the lemons from my dwarf lemon tree.
These fat mild peppers are about 4 inches long. They are growing on dwarf plants. Notice the “hail holes” and probably grasshopper holes. We have grasshoppers of all shapes and colors. The orb spiders catch them in their webs. On a warm day you can toss a grasshopper into their web and the spider with quickly spin a net over the hopper.  Good spider! If you get near an orb spider they never jump at you, they stay still in their web or if scared they might try to hide. 
I have two rock-raised beds in the back garden that I use for veggies. I rotate the plantings. One year I will grow tomatoes, nightshade family,  another year squash,cucurbit, family. By rotating plants and removing plant debris I am able to avoid the bugs and diseases that are specific to those plants. Up front in an Earth Box are my green beans.

I grew beets in the Earth Box, see at left. The soil was so ideal that I had recurrence of beet leaf miners. Beet miners are a fly that lay an egg on a beet leaf. The larva eats, mines in between the walls of the beet leaf then goes into the soil to become a fly that again lays the eggs on the leaf. Usually I have just one generation of these bugs which you can control by squishing the larva in the leaf or pulling the leaf. I harvested all these beets and replanted green beans. I replanted beets in another bed.  Row covers work to keep the original fly from starting his cycle.

Annie, the small pots shows the Red Robin tomatoes. The plants are tiny but the tomatoes are sweet.
Ok, here comes the spider picture. It is a golden orb. Conversation with Ted:  “Gloria, is that spider’s name Roy?”  “No, Ted his name would only be Roy if he was a son”    Roy-orb-son  (remember the singer) Ted shakes his head…. Well, he started it!
A good grasshopper-eating spider. This spider was hidden within the winter squash leaves.


  1. Gloria, that little tomato plant looks just like the Gartenperle I grew, but my tomatoes tasted horrid. I actually threw two plants in the garbage, even though they were loaded with fruit! I was looking for a small plant like that, with sweet tomatoes.

    That spider is actually rather pretty.

  2. Thank you for recipe. Intrigued too by this spider. Looks really exotic.

  3. I need an orb spider in my garden. Your garden and blog is an inspiration to me. I have recently started blogging and well, I hope one day my gardens well be as beautiful as your!

  4. Great looking vegetable garden Gloria. I love green beans and pepperoni so I am sure I will like this recipe.


  5. I'm not a fan of pepperoni, one of those strange freaks of nature I suppose :P The caprese salad though, with tomatoes mozzarella and basil, you'd have a tough time keeping me away! We've had great luck controlling leaf-miners with row covers this year, and the beets don't seem to mind the covers either. Gorgeous spider too, I love finding those giant orb-weavers in our garden, and they're so pretty!

  6. Gloria, How nice to know that those spiders -- of whom I have several in my garden -- are helping to keep the grasshopper population under control.

    Don't you love to cook at this time of year? -Jean

  7. Gloria your dinner sounds yummy. I thin it is awesome you have a lemon tree. Does it stay outside all year?

  8. Great pix of a the spider!! I love the rock raised beds. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to "feed" the spiders. Spiders might seem creepy, but they are amazing insects. Our gardens would be a mess without them!:0)

  9. what lucky friends to be able to enjoy such a great summer meal! I hope they got to tour the garden too...

  10. Annie, this Red Robin is sweet and good and cute.

  11. Catharine, we have lots of bugs and very few that bite humans

  12. Gloria, I am so jealous of your veggie garden... the rabbits ate me out early and I gave up. Yours looks so lush. Great photo of the spider... as beautiful as it is ... it scares me to no end! Creepily beautiful! Congrats on your WS debut!! Good for you! ;>))

  13. Hi Carol, thank you! The garden is surviving inspite of 5 hailstorms. But, it sounds like rabbits would be worse.