Sooner or later I know I'm going to hear it. “Just don’t make anything with tomatoes, please!”
At this point of the year, tomatoes, which were only five weeks ago the tantalizing taste of summer, have become something I can never quite believe they will turn into to when I’m craving them in the dead of winter. They’re boring. We’ve eaten them with salt, grilled them, tossed them, roasted them, stuffed them, layered them with mozzarella and basil, ratatouilled them, even canned 16 quarts of them! Inevitably, there comes a juncture in every summer where the girls get tomatoed out. And I have to think of something totally different to jump start their tired summer palates.
This year my inspiration to beat the Too-Many-Tomato Blues came in the form of some green beans, a couple of hot peppers and a fantastic bag of paprika that one of my students’ moms brought me from Hungary not too long ago. My original plan involved yogurt* – and I still think that would be an excellent (and let’s face it, lighter) choice. But seeing as my husband used the yogurt to make the chicken tenderloins, mayo became Plan B in my Eastern European green bean effort. I knew I had a winner on my hands when I asked my younger daughter to take a taste, and she went back for 4 green beans while she was supposed to be setting the table. After his taste, my husband actually told me to take a picture and write it down for the blog, which was a pretty big surprise. So on his recommendation, I’m sharing my totally inauthentic Hungarian green bean recipe – and there is not a tomato in sight!
Col’s Green Beans with Paprika Mayo1 large onion, sliced 2 Hungarian wax peppers, seeded and cut in long slices 1 quart container fresh green beans 1 T grapeseed oil 3 T light mayo 1 t dried dill 1-2 t Hungarian paprika (hot or sweet, according to taste) 1 t sugar Juice of half lemon 1 t cider vinegar Salt and pepper to taste
1) Put the oil in a large, non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and green beans, stirring every few minutes to keep them from getting too dark on one side. After about 15-20 minutes, the onions will be dark, and the beans will be crisp tender.
2) While the beans are cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients together to make a thick sauce. When green beans are done, remove from heat for 1-2 minutes, then toss with paprika mayo, or simply serve the mayo on the side for dipping.*If I had gone with the yogurt I probably wouldn't have needed all the acidity I did, so I'd taste before adding the lemon juice and vinegar.
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