Discover delicious summer meals with fresh green beans

Even though green vegetables are almost synonymous with a healthy plate, green beans fall within the category of ingredients whose nutritional value is not determined by their colour.

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This somewhat forgotten ingredient is often unfairly snubbed by restaurants, but it’s actually an ideal summer delicacy with a wide range of fascinating recipes. At the same time it’s an excellent ingredient for vegan and vegetarian diet given that their high protein and carbohydrate content makes them just as tasty if they’re served separately.

Green beans season is in full swing and you’re bound to get your hands on them at just about any market. They are a true summer vegetable because they’re picked from June to September. Although you can keep them in the freezer all year round, it’s fresh green beans, which are in season right now, that make summer dishes stand out. They can be yellow, green or purple and can be found in all shapes and sizes. If you already have your favourite green bean type, we recommend you pluck up the courage and try preparing local old green bean varieties which are bound to leave you speechless.

Fresh green beans have a distinct clear colour, smooth pod and should snap when you twist them. Before you prepare them, it’s a good idea the rinse the green beans, trim the ends and cut them into pieces to make the preparation easier and quicker. Regardless of whether you serve them as a side dish, salad or main dish, you can boil, braise or steam them. Every preparation style will give them a special flavour.

You can prepare green beans as a separate side dish, but bear in mind that they also go great with other summer vegetable such as peppers or tomatoes. You can serve them with sesame, caramelised onion or grilled spring onions. Green beans also go great with other members of the bean family such as beans, broad beans, young peas or chick pea. Restaurant Zeleni kut is a family restaurant located near Karlovac on the banks of river Mrežnica. Head chef Tanja Puškarić has included green beans in her menu as a side dish.

Our restaurant gives the option of ordering green beans as a side dish to any type of meat. We either boil them or just sauté them with onion. Sometimes we also receive orders so we make stews as well. Unfortunately, guests don’t order them that much - she says.

If you’re in the mood for a quick meal, then green bean salad is the perfect choice. Aside from olive oil, green beans go great with pumpkin or sesame oil and you can also combine them with salty cheese, peaches, capers, olives, cherry tomatoes and onion. When it comes to seasonings, parsley and basil are an absolute must. You can also use tarragon or caraway. Restaurant Kormoran is located in eastern Croatia, in nature park Kopački Rit. This restaurant is renowned for its local cuisine.  Aside from quite a few freshwater fish meals, the also prepare green bean salad. Head chef Ljiljana Bilokapić revealed the recipe.

First you cook the green beans in salted water, then you chop some parsley and garlic and mix all of that with sunflower oil and balsamic vinegar. We always buy the green beans from local farmers because they just taste better - Liljana points out.

But that’s not all. At Kormoran you can also relish green bean stew.

To make green bean stew you need to chop some onion and garlic which are then cooked with green beans until they’re done. Finally, you add some milk and sour cream - Ljiljana explains.

They also prepare green beans in Papuk mountain in Planinarski dom Jankovac. Chef Lucija Senković walked us through green bean specialties.

We serve sautéed green beans as a side dish.  Usually we sauté yellow ones on onion, add some salt, pepper and Vegeta. Finally, we use breadcrumbs as a thickener - Lucija explains.

 

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