So, what did I put on the dinner table last night?
Here’s your only hint: Nik was out of town. Short answer: tofu.
If you’re family or a friend or colleague who have already heard me wax poetic about my favorite green bean dish, move right along. I might have even featured it on my old blog, but that’s just how much I love it.
Heidi Swanson writes the superb food blog 101 Cookbooks and she is also the author of the fantastic cookbook Super Natural Every Day, one of my very favorites. Her food is so approachable and delicious that I had been cooking meals off her blog for months before it dawned on me that all of her recipes are vegetarian, which I am not.
Feisty green beans. Honestly, I could eat these every single week. Or swap them out with whatever vegetable I’m in the mood for. Sauteed onion and garlic, toasted almonds, plump and sweet golden raisins? What more could you want? (My husband’s inevitable response? Something without tofu.)
I like these as my main dish, for lunch or dinner, but they would also make a nice, hefty side dish, if that’s what you prefer. They’re chock full of spices, totally full flavored without actually being spicy. It might make a nice accompaniment to some grilled chicken breast, or swapping the tofu and raisins for shredded chicken with dried cranberries and chopped pecans.
The spices and base ingredients are a limitless jumping point, but I haven’t strayed far. If it’s not broke…?
from Heidi Swanson, 101 Cookbooks
1 pound green beans, sliced in small pieces
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 bay leaves
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon saltscant
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (or coconut milk)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toastedone handful of finely chopped fresh cilantrosalt and pepper to taste
*My note: Sub or omit whatever is convenient or to your liking. For example, I’m not that into cilantro, so I leave it out. I didn’t have any bay leaves or paprika on hand last night, but I charged ahead, nonetheless.
Cook the green beans in a pot of well-salted boiling water for about a minute, just long enough that they lose their raw edge. Drain and dunk in ice-cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
In a small bowl cover the raisins with scalding hot water for five minutes, drain and set aside.
Heat your largest skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions and garlic start to brown just a bit. Add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Carefully remove the bay leaves. Stir in the paprika, cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt, crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the tofu and raisins and cook until heated through, a minute or so. Add the butter and green beans and stir until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the crème fraiche, then most of the almonds and most of the cilantro. Taste and add more salt and some pepper if you like. Serve topped with any remaining almonds and cilantro.