Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mediterranean Green Beans with Golden Raisins

Most children (and adults) do not enjoy being told to eat their green beans. I have shied away from green beans my entire life. Most versions I have encountered either looked like a mushy mess or were drowning in cream of mushroom soup and passed off as a "casserole". I did like those crunchy fried onions on top of the casserole, though. But, I digress.

I continued to stay away from green beans after switching to Paleo, but I did a little research on the nutritional value of green beans and they seem to be just fine. I won't go too far into it, you can learn more here and here, but green beans are high in protein and have lower levels of dangerous lectin and phytates as most legumes.

This green bean dish uses golden raisins, pistachio nuts and Mediterranean spices. Oh, did I mention bacon? How could I forget the bacon! These little string beans are sautéed in bacon fat AND topped with crumbled bacon. This dish is sweet, salty and...bacon-y. What do you think we need to do to get bacon-y added to the dictionary? Is there someone I can petition on this matter because I feel pretty strongly that it should be treated as a proper, officially recognized adjective. I'll see what I can do.

In the meantime, eat your green beans!

Mediterranean Green Beans with Golden Raisins

Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 25
Total Time: 40

4 slices of nitrate free bacon

4 cups of green beans, trimmed

1/2 white onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup pistachios

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 tsp freshly chopped or dried oregano

1 tsp freshly chopped or dried basil

1/2 tsp freshly chopped or dried dill

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

-Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. 

- While the water is heating up, heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, place the bacon slices in the pan. Cook until crispy, turning often (about 6-8 minutes). Remove bacon from pan and set pan, including bacon fat, aside for later use.

-When water begins to boil, add beans and simmer for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain water from pot.

- Return the pan with reserved bacon fat to medium heat. Add garlic, sliced onion and green beans. Cook, stirring occasionally for 6-8 minutes, until beans begin to brown.

-While the beans are cooking and the bacon has cooled enough to handle, crumble the bacon. 

-After beans have started to brown, add bacon, pistachios, raisins, oregano, basil and dill. Stir well and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve!