Elinor's Italian Green Beans and Potatoes
2 lbs flat Italian green beans (fresh if you can find them, but frozen is what I typically use)
5 medium potatoes (Yukon gold work best, but any potato will do)
3 tsp salt
2.5 qt water (enough to cover the potatoes by an inch)
3 tbs olive oil
2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp crushed or chopped oregano
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
salt to taste (if desired)
Put the salt and water in to 4 qt pot and bring to boil over medium to low heat.
Peel and cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes, and place in boiling water.
While the potatoes are boiling (for about 30 minutes), cut the ends off the Italian beans and cut them into 1 - 1.5 inch sections.
When the potatoes are fork tender, put the Italian beans into the pot with the potatoes, and when they return to a boil, cook for 6 more minutes.
As the beans cook, heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.
Dice the garlic cloves, and add them to the olive oil, along with the oregano and black pepper and cook until the garlic is light brown.
When the beans and potatoes are done, drain them well, put them back in the pot, and pour the olive oil, garlic and spice mixture over them, tossing with a wooden spoon to evenly coat the beans and potatoes.
Typically, the salt in the water will provide enough flavor, but if you want you can sprinkle more salt to taste.
Pairs Well With
My best friend's mom was Italian, and mine was German. My friend's family had their Sunday dinner around 2:00 pm, and we had ours around 5:00 pm. So my friend and I would typically eat first at his house, then at mine.
One of my favorite dishes that his mom made was Italian green beans and potatoes. This easy-to-make dish continues to be a big hit with my wife's family (Italian) and at potlucks. It's even good cold the next day.
On an unrelated note, my mom and my friend's mom both used a wooden spoon to cook and to mete out justice to recalcitrant children.
Submitted by: "Oskar Back"