Ever try to get a child, or significant other, or friend, or yourself, to eat a new vegetable? Sometimes, it is just fine. But most of the time, it does not go over well. You’re greeted with scrunched up noses, tongues sticking out, and a chorus of “ewwww!”.
Well, I have good news for you. I know of several tricks to get new vegetables to at the least be considered, if not openly adored. One involves trying it in a new texture. I’ve found that pan-frying or baking until crispy can render some normally off-putting veg nearly irresistible.
The second trick is spice. Usually the hot kind, but also all kinds of spices. Familiarize yourself with different spices, fresh and dried, ground and whole. Peppers are a whole world of their own, from as innocuous as bells and jalapenos up through cherry peppers, poblanos, and serranos.
While they are in season, pick them up cheap at the store or farmer’s market (or better yet, grow your own, peppers are very forgiving and easy growing!) and they freeze or dehydrate beautifully for salsas and recipes all year long.
- 1 cup fresh green beans (or any pole bean)
- 1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp ground or fresh diced hot pepper
- 1 tsp dried or fresh diced garlic
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
Step 1: Put the olive oil and green beans in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until beans start to brown.
Step 2: Add the garlic, tomatoes, soy sauce, and hot pepper. You can use any kind of tomatoes, or forget about them and just cook the beans too. I happened to have a yellow pear tomato plant that just exploded with fruit so I used those. It adds a nice juicy, fresh taste.
Cook until tomatoes burst, and most of the liquid is evaporated. Serve hot!
These come out crunchy yet easy to chew, with a very fun texture. If you let them cool slightly, they can be great finger foods. Obviously you can adjust the level of heat to the comfort level of whoever is eating them. Add extra hot peppers to convince a doubtful male to try it (Seriously, spice works to conceal a lot of “vegetal” tastes most dudes don’t love), or dial it back for those who are new to spices.
You can even omit the hot pepper at all for children, or people who are allergic or just don’t like hot pepper. But I’d suggest giving it a try, you’ll never go back to canned beans once you’ve tried this delish dish!