Vegetarian Giro d’Italia: Ratatouille di Fagiolini (Ratatouille of French Beans)

May 13, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

Ratatouille di Fagiolini (Ratatouille of French Beans)

If you’re willing to sacrifice a glass of wine for this dish, you’ll be rewarded with a great way to serve green beans and tomatoes.

As another stage takes place in the Piedmont region, I wanted to again highlight a dish that takes advantage of the geographical and cultural region. Northern Italian cooking is influenced by the wonderful wines in the region as well as French cuisine. This ratatouille brings the best of both those worlds.

It’s a relatively easy dish to make (save prepping the beans) so you can be back to relaxing after a long bike ride in no time.

Ratatouille di Fagiolini (Ratatouille of French Beans)
adapted from Cibo che Passione

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 2 lbs, green beans
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • pepper
  • 14 oz tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • 1 glass red wine

Wash and trim the green beans. Chop up the butter with the garlic, parsley and basil and put into a casserole dish.

Add the chopped tomatoes and the beans. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and pour the red wine over the mixture.

Cover and put into oven preheated to 350 degrees. Cook for 30 minutes.


South African Green Beans with Sour Sauce

April 21, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

South African Green Beans with Sour Sauce

These green beans were like nothing I’ve had before. The sauce is sour, creamy and strangely addictive. Malt vinegar lovers will love this dish.

I found this recipe buried in a Time Life African Cooking recipe book from 1970. The book has many great vegetarian recipes that I hope to feature soon. Sometimes it’s good to turn a blind eye to the internet or glossy new cookbooks and find recipes that probably haven’t seen the light of day for a while. If I hadn’t done that, I never would have found this dish which was gobbled up almost immediately.

Instead of using dry mustard, I used some English mustard I had in the refrigerator. On a vegan note: I may try recipe this next time with an egg substitute to see what happens; however, I’m not sure if I’ll need to add anything else to thicken up the sauce. If anyone tries it with egg substitute, let me know how it comes out.

South African Green Beans with Sour Sauce
Recipes: African Cooking, Foods of the World, 1970

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh green string beans, trimmed, washed and left whole
1 egg
1/4 cup malt vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry hot English mustard

In a 3-to-4 quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil over high heat. Drop the beans in by the handful. Return the water to a boil, reduce the heat to moderate and boil the beans uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender but still firm. Do not overcook them.

Immediately drain the beans in a colander and transfer them to a large heated serving bowl. Cover to keep them warm while you prepare the sauce.

Combine the egg, vinegar, sugar, mustard and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the top of a small double boiler* and beat vigorously with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Place the pan over simmering, not boiling, water, and continue to beat for 2 to 3 minutes longer, until the sauce thickens lightly and clings to the whisk.

Taste for seasoning, pour the sauce over the beans, and serve at once.

(Note: I don’t have a double boiler but instead used my wok atop of a sauce pan filled with water. The effect was just the same.)


Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

August 28, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I had a little bit of fresh green beans left from my weekly vegetable delivery. I didn’t really have enough for the 3/4 lbs called for in the original recipe. I padded the recipe with some sliced bamboo shoots. I thought they nicely balanced the crispness of the water chestnuts and added a nice earthy flavor.

This low prep dish is great served over rice, soba noodles or rice noodles.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts
Vegetarian Times, July/August 2009

  • 3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 8-oz package tempeh (I used a 3-grain flavor)
  • 3 T low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-oz can sliced bamboo shoots (I added these to the original recipe.)
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 T)
  • 2 t dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 T crushed dry-roasted peanuts

Heat 1 tsp oil in wok or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and sear 3 minutes on each side.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

Add 1/2 cup water and 4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce. Cook tempeh 5 minutes more, until all liquid has been absorbed, turning occasionally.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

Transfer to plate, and cool until easy to handle. Crumble tempeh by hand until no large chunks remain.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in wok over high heat. Add green beans; stir-fry 4 minutes or until beginning to brown.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

Add 3 tablespoons water, and simmer beans 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add coconut milk, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots (if using), peanut butter, garlic, brown sugar, chile-garlic sauce, ground cloves, remaining 4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, and crumbled tempeh; stir-fry 2 minutes.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

Garnish with crushed peanuts.

Indonesian Tempeh with Green Beans and Crushed Peanuts

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

July 23, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Salads, Side Dishes

Rolling, rolling, rolling…Le Tour keeps a’rollin. Our vegetable delivery this week featured a nice bunch of green beans and I knew I wanted to create something light yet substantial.  I stumbled upon this recipe – La Salade de Haricots Verts, Champignons, et Noisettes de Gallopin. It’s a lot of words to the name but this salad is worth that mouthful.  This is a great addition to the Vegetarian Tour de France.

Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

(La Salade de Haricots Verts, Champignons, et Noisettes de Gallopin)
Adapted from The Paris Cookbook

Chop hazelnuts and roast in toaster oven on 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

Fill a pasta pot, preferably with a colander built in, with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and beans to the water. Cook until the beans are crisp and tender – about 5 minutes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

Drain beans and run under cold water (or place in bowl of ice water). When beans are cool, drain them and wrap in a towel. (Be careful not to let the beans get soggy when cooling them off in the water.)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt and oil.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

Combine green beans, mushrooms, shallots, chives and toasted hazelnuts in a large bowl.  Then drizzle the vinaigrette on the beans and mushrooms and stir to coat. (If you are not serving immediately, the drizzle vinaigrette when it’s time to eat.)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad


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