Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simple and Satisfying Green Beans

Subtitle:  Oops, I did it again*

I recently realized that I don't have any peach recipes, or green bean recipes, on the blog.  I've joined a group of food bloggers who love recipe round ups, and when someone was looking for peach recipes I consulted my Master Spreadsheet and . . . crickets.
There are no peaches in this green bean recipe, if you're wondering.  I'll happily stick kohlrabi and Spam in a sushi roll, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
 We got green beans in last week's CSA farm share so I could remedy one deficiency.  Yes, if you're my mom following the blog closely you will note that I call for (leftover) green beans in my Thanksgiving Leftover Remake Shepherd's Pie.  Until this past weekend, Shepherd's pie was the only way my kids would eat green beans.
I know--they don't eat cereal and they don't eat green beans.  They are such weird interesting kids!  Perhaps all the 'we've got all this kale, here, drink a green smoothie' of this summer has rubbed off on them, because they ate these beans right up.
They (the beans now, not my kids) are delicious (duh, otherwise I wouldn't be blogging about them) and the perfect side dish to serve to a gathering of folks with different dietary needs because they are vegan and gluten free.

How do you read this blog?  Via email (if you do--thanks!)?  I get blog updates and blog newsletters via email, and at the bottom of one such newsletter I noticed a limited giveaway for a copy of the bloggers cookbook.  I was positive I was too late, but in fact not!  I got a Kindle copy of Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of  Mediterranean-Inspired Family Meals because I read my email.  How cool is that?  This link goes to Carrie's website, where you can learn all about her cookbook.

When I was reading Carrie's cookbook, I knew I wanted to make a vegetable dish using something fresh from the CSA farm share.  There are many many wonderful recipes to choose from, but I picked Carrie's Fresh Green Beans because it looked simple and I hoped it would be a way for the kids to enjoy green beans.

As luck would have it, green beans showed up in the farm share box the day before we left to visit my mother-in-law, so *I did it again:  I went away from home and fixed a recipe for the first time for company.  I did make a slight modification to Carrie's recipe.  Instead of a combination of beef and chicken stocks, neither of which I had handy, I used a vegetable soup base.  This means that the recipe is vegan and gluten free.  I didn't set out to make a vegan and gluten free side dish as none of us are on special diets, but if the end result makes a side dish more folks can enjoy, I'm very glad for that.

NOTE:  I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients. Check labels to confirm that your products are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here:

Simple and Satisfying Green Beans (serves 4-6)

very slightly modified from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of  Mediterranean-Inspired Family Meals

1 large bag fresh green beans (I forgot to weigh them before we packed up!)
2 cups water, divided
1 Tablespoon vegetable soup base (I use Penzey's)
1 teaspoon buttery spread (if you're making a vegan dish) or butter
(have salt and pepper at the table)

Snap beans into bite sized pieces, removing string.  This is a great multigenerational activity--be prepared to hear reminiscing!  Steam or microwave the beans in 1/2 cup water until nearly tender (I did 4 minutes in the microwave).  Drain.  In a shallow pan over medium heat, heat the remaining water and soup base to a gentle simmer, stirring until soup base is dissolved.  Add beans, and simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Top with a teaspoon of buttery spread.  

This post is shared on What's Cookin' Wednesday,  the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up Potluck Party, the From the Farm Blog Hop, What's In The Box, the Clever Chicks Blog HopTasty Tuesdays, and Mostly Homemade Mondays.

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  1. The simplest ways to cook things are often the best! I love green beans just sauteed in olive oil with garlic.

    1. Sam,
      That sounds good to me, too. Now I'm hoping to get at least 2 more bags of green beans so I can try roasting and try olive oil & garlic.

      Or maybe beans on a pizza . . .

  2. I love green beans! And they are always best in season! We have been roasting ours. Hmmm, I think I need to pick up some green beans so we can roast some more, and then I need to blog on them! :)

    1. Sarah,
      Roasted green beans sounds pretty good to me. The morning after I picked up this week's farm share it was in the 50s so I roasted up a mess of veggies, but I've never tried a roasted green bean.

      I look forward to reading your recipe!

  3. That lovely plate of food looks just like something I would have had at my grandparents home when I was a kid after spending the afternoon snapping beans on the front porch. Beautiful plating!

    1. Kelli,
      There's something about summer foods that harkens (harkens? well, it fits here) back to earlier times. Snapping beans, shucking corn . . . picking up a bag of frozen vegetables in January doesn't have the same essence.


  4. Simple and delicious. You don't need to do much to make just-picked green beans delicious. You remind me that I need to start linking my blog again. Great job!

    1. Lucy,
      Much appreciated--and yes, get linking (it's kinda fun too).

  5. I love using the term crickets to demonstrate a lack of response. It always makes me smile for some unknown reason. Perhaps, I'm just odd.

    So guess who got green beans in her share this week? Yep, that's right. Little ol' me. Guess who's going to be making these super simple and delicious green beans. Yep, me again.
    Last week, I made green beans for the family. I steamed them and then topped them with lemon olive oil, fig balsamic, toasted pistachios and shaved Asiago cheese. They were a hit with everyone except my brother who refused to try anything I made because it's "healthy." Sigh.

    1. I would love to eat fancy green beans such as that--sounds absolutely delicious to me. Your brother, the guy doing the Tough Mudder with you who is ripped? Won't eat "healthy"? Ah, kids these days . . .

  6. Always looking for ways to make green beans yummier. :) Pinning! Stopping by from Tasty Tuesday's Linky party.

    Christine @ My Epicurean Adventures :)

  7. yummy! I love green beans. one of my favorite veggies. if you are ever looking for another way to make green beans (although it might be hard to venture away from this winning recipe), I am kind of famous for my green beans. I have never blogged the recipe because in order to pin down the measurements I would need a watch dog (I get in the zone and forget to keep track). But here is a rough idea. Start by sautéing some shallots (you can use onions too...which i often do if i am out of shallots, but truth be told, shallots are the way to go) in a large saute pan butter over medium high heat(tablespoon or two), season with salt and pepper to taste. once they start to sweat, add beans sauté for a few minutes. season again. add broth (i like chicken broth, but again, whatever you have on hand and are trying to use up) cover and let simmer on low until beans are slightly softened but NOT limp! (5 mins or so). tadah! enjoy :)

    ps: thanks for sharing and linking up!

    1. Heather,
      This sounds delicious--and I happen to have a few shallots from my garden--thanks so much for this recipe!