Feisty Green Beans Recipe

A riff on a recipe from Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic - green beans, creme fraiche, garlic, golden raisins, almonds, a range of spices. They caught my attention when Anna said...the ingredient list is long, but these are the best green beans you'll ever make.

Feisty Green Beans

I came across a recipe that caught my attention in Anna Getty's soon-to-be-released Easy Green Organic. It was a recipe from a family friend, which in my mind is always a good sign, and the last sentence in her headnote stated, "the ingredient list is long, but these are the best green beans you'll ever make." Green beans, crème fraîche, garlic, golden raisins, almonds, a ranges of spices...in all, seventeen ingredients, of which I had sixteen.

Feisty Green Bean Recipe

So I wanted to give this general idea a go, and it's not exactly green bean season, but I made them anyway. And they were so insanely good, even though, admittedly, the green beans I used were sad, sad, sad. My advice? Make this recipe, like this, the next time you see good green beans in your market. In the meantime, make the exact same recipe substituting something that is in season in your corner of the world. I'm going to make it with cauliflower. Like tomorrow. Or the brussels sprouts I bought the other day? Those would be good too. And asparagus season isn't far off. I'm confident there are any number of substitutions you could make here that wouldn't disappoint.

Feisty Green Bean Recipe

I made a few tweaks to the recipe in Anna's book, reflected below. I like slicing green beans into little o-shapes, so I did that here. I also wanted to make this more of a one-pan meal, so I cut back significantly on the raisins and introduced tiny tofu cubes. I suspect little pan-fried paneer cubes or tempeh would also work. The version in her book is named John Pepper's exotic green beans, I renamed them here in case someone is looking for the original version - so there wouldn't be any confusion. Thanks for the inspiration Anna, your book turned out beautifully, I've enjoyed spending time with it.

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Feisty Green Beans

Use a white wine that you'd want to drink after opening. And for those of you looking to speed things up, you don't need to slice the green beans, but it was a good call, the sauce gets into all the nooks and crevices.

1 pound green beans, thinly sliced (see photo)
1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70g golden raisins
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 bay leaves
1/3 cup / 80 ml white wine
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup / 120 ml crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 cup / 3/4 oz / 20g sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup / one handful of finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the green beans in a pot of well-salted boiling water for about a minute, just long enough that they lose their raw edge. Drain and dunk in ice-cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a small bowl cover the raisins with scalding hot water for five minutes, drain and set aside.

Heat your largest skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions and garlic start to brown just a bit. Add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Carefully remove the bay leaves. Stir in the paprika, cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt, crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the tofu and raisins and cook until heated through, a minute or so. Add the butter and green beans and stir until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the crème fraiche, then most of the almonds and most of the cilantro. Taste and add more salt and some pepper if you like. Serve topped with any remaining almonds and cilantro.

Serves 4 to 6.

Inspired by a recipe in Anna Getty's Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic, to be published by Chronicle Books, 2010.

Prep time: 30 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Apologies, comments are closed.


Heidi, this looks amazing. I love the idea of green beans with golden raisins and spices! Have a great afternoon.

*Instant drool* I am addicted to vegetables and these look SO delicious! -Katie

Heidi, this looks terrific, It's runner bean season here in NZ and typically everyone grows more than they can consume so a new recipe is very welcome. Normally I go glassy eyed when there is so many ingredients but most are on hand. Am making it tonight. Thanks


Hi Heidi, Hope your day is filled with sunshine. I had 16 of the 17 ingredients too. No tofu. I don't use it. Looks like a yummy recipe and I will add nuts in place of the tofu. Thanks for sharing once again. God bless.


Heidi your version reads like perfection. As for Tom's lazy version, I'll be leaving out about 6 ingredients, yet I still think it will be a dreamy green bean dish--thanks! For any home gardeners, I recommend growing Fortex, an exceptionally flavored and prolific green bean (pole bean).

Looks great - nice to have a different option than my favourite spicy green bean recipe from Cooks Illustrated. Do you think with this spice combination, the recipe would be best vegan-ized with soy yogurt or with coconut milk/cream?


Yum! Do you think substituting the creme fresh / sour cream with tahini and lemon juice would make a good vegan substitute? Thanks! Anna

Sounds awesome...but where does one find extra "version" olive oil these days? ;)


I love the little 'O' shaped bean slices. What a great idea to get the sauce inside as they cook. The whole recipe sounds lovely.

very great recipe for those of us getting ready to grow some beans in our gardens this spring. Just getting ready to plant some seeds for the veggie bed today, so keep the recipes coming so I know what to do with them once they get out of the ground!

Wow. This is a really exciting-looking recipe... in the season, we grow and cook a lot of green beans, prepared really simply. I think this would be a fun game-change... It's almost hard to imagine what it would taste like, so it's going on my list.

Wow. This is a really exciting-looking recipe... in the season, we grow and cook a lot of green beans, prepared really simply. I think this would be a fun game-change... It's almost hard to imagine what it would taste like, so it's going on my list.

Thanks for this one Heidi. This is a great bean recipe particularly for those of us who like to cheat a bit and not follow the recipe exactly. I can see adapting this to a winter veggie recipe. I can get pretty decent green beans almost year round at my local Boston Supermarket only 5 minutes from my house.

john Govoni

Thanks so much for this recipe! I saw it in my feeds at just the right time, when I was starting to think about what to make for lunch, so I did a broccoli version of it, with some changes to make it dairy-free, and with the addition of mushrooms. I absolutely love curry. Thanks!

This recipe looks so good! especially using the cauliflower. also love that you are using lots of ingredients! playing the piano with all the keys, as it were? love your blog. best from Montecito, California where it is still raining?

I LOVE this! I have everything but the golden raisins, but might throw in some dried cranberries for a pop of color instead just so I can have these ASAP. And I love that they're "feisty" legumes! :)

Looks like a great recipe - but when I make it for my grandchildren I'll use toasted pine-nuts instead of the almonds...

Lee Stein

This does look good.

Linda Jones

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