Saturday, October 20, 2012

Green Beans with Pineapple

Does that sound like a strange combination? It works rather well in this very simple Asian side dish. It's an unusual way to get your fruit!

You can make this with fresh green beans (see our post on cooking fresh green beans) but it works nearly as well with frozen green beans. Frozen green beans aren't quite as good as fresh ones, but what they lack in texture and sweetness, they make up for in convenience. No cleaning, no cutting.

You can cook frozen beans in the microwave or on the stove-top. Takes under 15 minutes either way. To cook in the microwave, put beans in a 2 quart microwavable dish with a cover. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, give them a stir, and cook for another 4 minutes. Let stand, covered, for a couple of minutes. To cook on the stove-top, bring ¼ cup water to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan. Add beans, cover, and cook for 8 minutes. In either case, drain them well before proceeding with the recipe.

Nutritionally speaking, they are equivalent. Frozen beans are quite inexpensive. Fresh beans in season are close, but the frozen ones are consistently cheaper.

How about canned green beans? Their texture is mushy and their flavor is over-cooked. Stick to fresh or frozen.

Green Beans with Pineapple
(serves 4, costs $2)

12 ounces cooked green beans, either fresh or frozen, well-drained
2 Tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 8-ounce can diced or crushed pineapple, drained
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
A pinch of salt

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, if using, and saute for about a minute. Add green beans and stir to cover with butter. Add pineapple and soy sauce. Cook another minute to heat up the Add a pinch of salt if you think it isn't salty enough.

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