Green beans are native to North, South, and Central America. Today, however, they grow all over the world.
While they may be low in calories, green beans contain many important nutrients that provide several health benefits. The legumes are full of antioxidants, including vitamin C, flavonols, quercetin, and kaemferol.
Green Bean Mac n Cheese – from BBC Good Food website
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp wholemeal flour
- 500ml milk
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 350g macaroni (or other pasta tubes)
- 185g pack sliced runner beans
- 220g pack fine green beans
- 140g mature cheddar , half chopped, half grated
- 25g pumpkin seeds
- peppery salad (such as rocket & watercress), to serve (optional)
Put the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and stir well. Still stirring, slowly pour in a little of the milk and mix well until smooth. Add a little more milk, repeating until all the milk has been added and you have a smooth sauce. Stir in the nutmeg, season, then take off the heat while you cook the pasta.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the macaroni and boil for 8 mins. Add the runner beans and green beans, and boil for a further 3 mins.
Drain the pasta and the beans, and tip into a large gratin dish. Pour over the prepared sauce and tuck the chopped cheese in among the pasta, then top with the grated cheese and pumpkin seeds. Bake for 10-15 mins or until the top is bubbling and golden. Serve with a peppery salad, if you like.
Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry – from Great British Chefs website
- 250g of green beans, trimmed and cut into 5cm pieces
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick, 5cm long
- 1 tomato, small, diced
- 1 sprig of curry leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 400ml of coconut milk, (1 tin)
- crispy shallots, to garnish
CURRY LEAF OIL (OPTIONAL)
- 1 bunch of curry leaves
- 50g of rapeseed oil
Begin by making the curry leaf oil, as this will take a few hours to strain.
Place the curry leaves and vegetable oil in a blender and blitz at a high speed for several minutes until the oil turns green. Pour the contents of the blender into a muslin cloth hung over a bowl and leave to strain.
Add a dash of vegetable oil to a saucepan and fry the shallots, garlic, chillies, cinnamon and sprig of curry leaves for 5 minutes until soft. Add the diced tomato and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the green beans, chilli flakes, cumin, turmeric and pepper and cook gently for 5 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for a few more minutes. If you’d like a drier curry with a thicker sauce, simply add less coconut milk.
Season to taste, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with crispy shallots, extra curry leaves (ideally fried in a little oil until crisp) and finish with a drizzle of the curry leaf oil.