It makes me feel uncool to admit this because she’s so dang popular, but The Pioneer Woman is one of my favorite food personalities. And you know what? I’m just going to say it. I think Ree is pretty awesome. I thoroughly enjoy so many aspects of her blog – her writing is engaging and her photography stunning – and I’ve always had success when I’ve tried her recipes. And her TV show is totally fun to watch.
Of course, many of her recipes contain meat (usually bacon, along with lots and lots of butter), so those dishes don’t see much action in my kitchen. But when she made her green beans with tomatoes (she calls them spanish green beans on her blog), I knew I had to try them. Or a version of them, because, of course, her recipe starts off with a ton of bacon. And the point of my making these was so that could eat them, and so as a vegetarian, I was going to have to do some revising.
And so! Revising I did.
The cooking method and many of the ingredients are similar: I started with diced onion and lots of minced garlic sauteed in olive oil. Then I stirred in the fresh green beans and some diced tomatoes. And then I took the liberty of adding a bit of red wine for oomph.
I finished with cayenne pepper like Ree does, but I also added in some smoked paprika to help make up for the fact that bacon – and its signature smokiness – was left out of this vegetarian-ized version of the recipe.
This has become one of my favorite side dishes. It’s so easy. And because it stews for a good hour, the tomatoes, onion, and garlic start to break down and almost take on an Italian-tomato-sauce-like quality; the cayenne and smoked paprika add a bit of an edge.
And! It’s red and green. Perfect Christmas dinner side dish, anyone?!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (about ½ medium onion)
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1½ tablespoons)
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup red wine
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (or up to ½ teaspoon, to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the olive oil and the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute.
- Add the green beans, tomatoes, and red wine. Stir gently and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about an hour or until very tender.
- Add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately.