The approach to Thanksgiving is invariably accompanied by an onslaught of Thanksgiving recipes: turkey (brine or no brine, deep fried, etc.), stuffing versus dressing, cranberries 97 different ways, the newest updated versions of all the traditional recipes plus a few new ones. Ubiquitous as these is recipes for green bean casserole. I’ve never really liked green beans.
I realize that’s weird. It’s not only the soggy, overcooked, over-salted green beans from cafeterias either. Something about the texture I just don’t love. The other veggie I could do without? Carrots. Who doesn’t like carrots? Me. Give me broccoli and Brussels sprouts any day.
So when a giant bag of deep purple burgundy beans arrived in our most recent CSA share, I was less than thrilled. Burgundy beans (also called royal burgundy beans) are most often eaten as snap beans just like the more common green bean. Despite their dramatic color, they turn green when cooked.
After looking up a few different recipes, I decided to keep it simple and just saute the beans with some onions and garlic. To make it an actual meal, some cubed tempeh got tossed in, then I scooped the whole lot on top of some lightly dressed lettuce. I didn’t expect it to actually be so good!
The slightly-crunchy beans and the chewy tempeh were a nice contrast, and the onion and garlic was just enough flavor. If you’ve never had tempeh, give it a try. It’s a fermented soybean product completely unlike tofu. It’s also a great source of protein.
It’s almost ridiculous to write this up as a recipe, but I will give you the gist. All measurements are approximate but close.
Burgundy Bean Bowl
Serves 1 for lunch or 2 as a side dish
3/4 cup burgundy beans, washed and ends snapped, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a bit for drizzling
4 ounces tempeh, cut in small cubes
3/4 cup lettuce, chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1.) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. Clear a space in the center and add beans. Saute 3-5 minutes until beans have started turning green. Add tempeh and garlic and stir occasionally.
2.) Place lettuce in a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and toss to coat.
3.) When tempeh is nice and brown and beans are bright green, add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan. Sprinkle contents of pan with salt and pepper. Serve nestled on top of prepared lettuce.