Green beans are a worldly vegetable, showing up in the cuisines of diverse cultures and tolerating a range of ingredients. The Smithsonian Magazine’s food blog, Food and Think, showed the vegetable’s versatility in an article highlighting five recipes from various cultures: Southern (American), Greek, Persian, Indian, and Chinese. Ingredients in these green-bean recipes varied from sugar and vinegar to turmeric and saffron to cumin seeds and yogurt to sherry and hot peppers. The ingredient-accommodating character of green beans inspired me recently to experiment with anchovies in my stand-by recipe for green beans, which is simply sautéed and chopped onions, garlic, celery and parsley, butter, grated ginger, and sometimes fresh tomatoes.
Food Network Star Rachel Ray has touted the nutty taste of anchovies when they are sautéed in oil. I later Googled “green beans with anchovies” and netted dozens of recipes that included anchovies. I was curious, so I decided to experiment with green beans to determine for myself just how ingredient-tolerant this vegetable can be. Can I add not only anchovies, but also my stand-by ingredients plus a variety of herbs that grow in my garden? So over three weeks I bought $29.00 worth of organic green beans (next year, I’m definitely growing my own) and, I varied my ingredients three times. (Note: I refrained from including a traditional recipe here as I am attempting to show the versatility and tolerance of green beans.)