Update a Favorite Recipe with Vegan Tapenade
After cooking my Elegant Green Beans recipe every week for more than a decade, I thought it might be fun to try something a little different this week. Imagine that! And so, my friends, I present you with Green Beans with Vegan Tapenade, a warm zesty side dish that can double as a salad come spring and summer.
My Elegant Green Bean recipe (page 186 in Sacred & Delicious) is an absolute favorite among my friends and co-workers, who repeatedly request it. When I make that dish, I usually buy a bag or two of organic green beans, rinse them and throw them into the pot uncut. However, this dish is improved by snapping or chopping the green beans into bite-sized pieces so that each mouthful gets covered with the olives and nuts.
I cook the beans until they are just tender without getting mushy, though I say “suit yourself” to my Southern friends! On the other hand, I know a lot of folks prefer their vegetables to be quite crispy, but in my estimation, the chopped almonds give the dish just enough crunch. From the standpoint of Ayurveda, vegetables are more easily digested when cooked until tender. For a room-temperature salad, you could steam the beans until barely cooked, and if you have strong digestion, that may be your kind of perfection.
Another Ayurvedic tip: I rinse olives in filtered water once and strain them before adding them to dishes because the vinegar or wine brine in their packaging can be excessively sour—not good for pitta types! Not to worry; they still have plenty of flavor. (Olives are brined because they would be terribly bitter if eaten raw.) Finally, you could add sundried tomatoes to the tapenade, but you won’t see them in my recipe or photo because (sadly) my hands ache when I eat tomatoes. The dish is still wonderfully Mediterranean without tomatoes, I promise.
You may find lots of ways to use this tapenade on some of your own favorite recipes. Making a quick lunch for one? Add it on top of pasta. Mix it with zucchini and summer squash. Try it on asparagus or broccoli.
Enjoy these flavorful Green Beans with Vegan Tapenade as winter melts into spring!
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