Retro Recipes: Green Beans Viennese

I started this recipe with a measure of skepticism, as I always do with 1950s vegetable dishes, but even more so because of the source. This recipe came from a 1959 Del Monte canned vegetable advertisement, describing it as ‘easily the most exciting vegetable dish ever!’ I’m not sure I would go that far, but it is quite delicious!

I’m not sure what makes this particular dish Austrian, maybe someone can contact Del Monte and ask? I’m going to assume it’s the addition of fruits to the dish—I’ve made a few Scandinavian vegetable dishes that all call for dried fruit or apples, things that either thrive in colder climates or stay good through the winter. Apples paired with the spice of the cloves and paprika surely make the dish!

Green Beans Viennese (serves 4)

3 tbsp evaporated sugar
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
4 whole cloves
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced with seeds removed
1 unpeeled apple, cored and cubed
1 medium scallion, diced
1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
1 lb green beans, chopped

Heat the sugar, oil, water, salt, paprika and cloves in a large pan over medium heat. Once sugar dissolves completely, add the lemon slices. Simmer until transparent ,about 5 min.

Stir in the apple and scallion. Cover and cook till apple is just tender.

Thicken sauce with cornstarch mixed with water. Add beans, tossing lightly, cook just until beans are hot and al dente. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve hot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *