Here’s an easy recipe for ejotes, which simply means green beans in Spanish, and sometimes refers to dishes made with them. This southwestern-inspired dish featuring green beans with tomatoes and chili peppers takes full advantage of the versatile garden produce at the height of their season.
Swap-ins: Use the most tender, fresh green beans for best results. That said, once green beans are past their prime and out of season, they can be tough, taking forever to cook. If you can’t get really good, in-season green beans yet want to make this dish, whole frozen green beans can be swapped in. Thaw completely before using.
As for the chile peppers, jalapeños are perfect, but if you want to go spicier, try serrano. On the other hand, if you want a milder dish, poblano would be a good choice. Another good choice would be hatch peppers during their fleeting season.
This recipe was inspired by one simply called “Ejotes” in Early California Hospitality (1938) by Ana Begue de Packman, a fascinating book on early Mission cooking of the Southwest. Find a reference to this author and her book in “Searching for the First California Cuisine.”
What to serve with ejotes
Recipe adapted from American Harvest by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 3 medium ripe juicy tomatoes, chopped
- 1 or 2 jalapeño or other fresh hot peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the onion and
sauté over medium-low heat until translucent.
- Add the garlic and green beans and sauté, stirring frequently, for
5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper.
- Simmer, covered, until the green beans are tender-crisp. The time will vary from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the green beans.
- Depending on the type of tomatoes used, drain the dish lightly if
too much liquid is in the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve at once as a side dish, straight from the pan or from a serving bowl.
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