Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Roasted Soybeans, a Grow Your Own #21 Entry

I am honored to be the current host of Andrea's Recipes' Grow Your Own event, which stars the homegrown veggies, herbs, fruits, and other foraged/raised edibles from good cooks around the world. Entries are already coming in from Asia, the United States and Great Britain, so keep them coming until the midnight, November 30th deadline to be included in a tasty roundup. I imagine homegrown goodies will be the centerpiece of many an American Thanksgiving feast so feel free to join in the fun. The rules for entering Grow Your Own #21 can be found on this previous post.

My contribution to this round of Grow Your Own is a Roasted Soybean Casserole. We've grown soybeans for several years now and are delighted with what a pest-resistant and easy to grow crop they are. With the exception of a stray Japanese beetle chomp here and there on the leaves, soybeans are pretty hardy and don't get the insect damage we see on some of the other plants in our organic garden from voracious flea beetles and early spring cutworms. We did have some baby bunnies mow one row of soybeans down last year when our farmer neighbor had a tall corn crop they could hide in, but he's taking a few years to let the soil rest with a low, green cover of alfalfa, so the varmints left our soybeans alone this year. Here's a shot of them in midsummer when they were nice and leafy.

We plant the seeds in early June and when the plant sets its seeds in the pod and they are still green and young and the husk has not yet turned brown you can pick them and prepare them in the Japanese manner as edamame. You steam them right in the pod for a few minutes and then sprinkle with kosher salt for a nice snack or appetizer. They taste a bit like boiled peanuts, sort of nutty and creamy.

Our original package of soybean seeds came from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine, but we've since used the many seeds we dried from plants that escaped our notice during the busy August harvest season and shriveled up into brown stalks. You can easily pull the dried seeds out and we've had success planting seeds that were two years old.

The soybean plants are very productive and we usually have many more soybeans left over from our edamame meals so we bag up and freeze the remainders for inclusion in stir fries and casseroles. I thought I would try oven roasting some of our frozen soybeans as a side dish for dinner this past week and the result was received with gusto at the Crispy Cook cantina, so we'll be making this recipe again. Given the price of frozen packages of edamame in the "Natural Foods" section of the supermarket ($5!) I would encourage you to Grow Your Own.

Roasted Soybeans

2 cups blanched, frozen soybeans, thawed or 1 pkg. overpriced green soybeans or edamame, thawed

2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. garlic powder

Drain soybeans and pat dry. Toss with olive oil. Add herbs and spices and mix together well.

Place in small baking dish, cover and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove cover, stir, and bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more to get things nice and CRISPY!

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Grow Your Own, Baby! It's so satisfying to pull a jar of homegrown, homemade tomato sauce or jam out of the pantry or a frozen package of garden gold, like these soybeans, and feed yourself and your family nutritious, non-processed, and frugal meals. See you all at the GYO #21 Roundup after November 30th.


Andrea Meyers said...

You are doing exactly what I want to do! I've been trying to figure out if we had enough room to grow some soybeans because I love love love them. We eat them as edamame and also use them in stir fries and fried rice. I've even venture into making my own soy milk if I could grow them. You've inspired me!

Maria Verivaki said...

i always thought of soybeans as an industrial crop. we dont use them ourselves (amazing, since greeks are beans fanatics). this was a most informative post

Anonymous said...

I still remember the first time I had steamed edamame. It was a revelation. I am seriously considering of planting some edible plants, so I think soya beans will definitely be considered, because in Greece we don't get them fresh, only frozen!

PG said...

This looks so delicious!
I'm planning to grow some beasn next year too. Right now we - me and my 3 year old son- are starting an experiment to grow some beans in pots in the house, just for fun, afer reading a book for children on how to do it.

Ivy said...

Hi Rachel. I am sorry it took me so long to visit back but I was really busy the past few days. Congratulations for hosting Grow your own. It's an event I don't participate that often as we live in a cement city and the only space we have is a small balcony only with a few plants and mostly flowers. However, I do get some gifts from my relatives who grow their own and I'll do my best to send you an entry by the 30th.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love edamame but I haven't really cooked with them myself. This looks like such a delicious way to serve them.

Rachel said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. I plan on trying out some other soybean/edamame recipes as I have some other bags of frozen green gold so stay tuned.