How did it happen that green beans made it into the Thanksgiving meal? I understand that the green bean casserole was a design by Campbell’s, the canned soup company, using their cream of mushroom soup. It became a popular side dish because it’s easy to make and provides some healthy green in this otherwise rich and not-so-healthy meal. Technically though, green beans have no place in this fall meal, because they are a summer crop – by the time it’s November their season is long past. But they are easy to prepare, and do provide a good balance for all the heavy foods consumed during a typical Thanksgiving meal, so why not serve them? Ayurveda teaches us that green beans have Astringent Taste – a taste that purifies the blood and causes dryness, a tightening of the tissues, and dries up secretions and mucus. It is balancing for Pitta and Kapha. Green beans are high in minerals, especially potassium and magnesium. In excess they can be imbalancing for Vata, because they will create too much dryness and can cause constipation. So in a Thanksgiving meal they create a good balance for the heavy and fatty foods so typical for a holiday meal. The following recipe also includes basil, another food – herb – that has nothing to do with fall, but because of the holiday will be available.
Thanksgiving Green Beans
1 lb trimmed green beans a half bunch basil, roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tbs balsamic vinegar salt to taste black pepper Optional: 10 ciliegine mozzarella balls, cut in half. In a large steamer, steam the trimmed beans until cooked with a bite. In a small frying pan, in a few tbs of olive oil, lightly fry the garlic, and for the last few seconds, add the chopped basil. Stir into the cooked beans. Add the rest of the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and black pepper to your taste and toss. If you want a richer dish, then add the mozzarella cheese. This might be a nice option for a vegetarian dinner. This dish can be served warm or cooled down. Enjoy!