Grandma Menna’s Kitchen: stewed French beans

Date settembre 30, 2009

If you’d see me now, you could think I’ve always loved eating, everything and in large quantity. Actually, I was a bit of a picky child, especially for vegetables. I used to eat green salad, seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil and salt, nothing more nothing less, and potatoes, boiled, fried, baked, mashed… but just potatoes. Besides salad and potatoes, there were Grandma’s French Beans: they were tasteful, delicious and far away from the usual vegetables!

Grandma has told me this was the same method that was used by my grand grandma. When I was young, such as with guinea – fowl, I thought it was really hard to make this recipe. Maybe because the only time I tried to make stewed French beans I forgot olive oil and bacon…Very light indeed, but not so tasteful!

Since I’m a very good child, here you have the recipe, handed on from mother to daughter for three generations.



  • Fresh French Beans, 800 gr
  • Carrot, 1
  • Celery, 1 stalk
  • Red onion, 1 small
  • Ripe tomatoes, 2 medium
  • Sweet bacon or ham in a thick slice, 150 gr
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Clean French beans: remove with your hands the edges of each French bean and remove the string that runs all along the bean.

Chop finely onion, celery and carrot. Pour a small quantity of olive oil in a large pan –  French beans usually take a lot of room. Add chopped onion, carrot and celery, then diced bacon, French beans, diced tomatoes and a glass of water. Season with a few pinches of salt, since bacon or ham are very tasty. Put on the flame, cover with a lid and cook for 40 minutes. Remember to stir frequently as French beans do love burning and sticking to the bottom of your pan. Add warm water if needed to finish the cooking.

French beans are ready when they are soft, dark green and coated with a crumbly sauce made with chopped vegetables and bacon. Season with salt if necessary. It is a joyful and tasteful side dish, but it is a main dish as well, with a large piece of bread to clean the plate! ;-)

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