Angelina’s Green Beans with Onions and Mint

Although our favorite way of having green beans when we were kids, especially in the summer, was in umido, or stewed with tomatoes, Angelina had another nice way of making green beans with sautéed onions and mint. As it turns out, at least according to this article, the recipe is from Puglia and is called fagiulini spilusieddi, meaning ‘imaginative green beans’ in the local dialect. Now, I have two theories about this: my grandfather being from Puglia, it is possible that she learned this Puglian way of making green beans to please her husband. It is also possible that in her area, which is not very far from Puglia, they also made green beans this way.
In any event, the dish is very simple, tasty and definitely worth a try: you boil green beans in well salted water until tender. While the green beans are cooking, sauté sliced onions (perhaps half as much by weight as the green beans) in a generous amount of olive oil over moderate heat until they are nicely softened.  (Adding a sprinkling of salt and a spoonful of water helps them to cook more quickly.) Mix a handful of chopped parsley and mint into the onions. Then, if you like, add some bread crumbs, turn up the heat a bit and let them saute until they turn golden. Otherwise, turn off the heat.
When the green beans are tender, drain them and add them to the skillet with the onions and herbs. Turn them to coat well and let them stew for just a few minutes to insaporire. Before serving, sprinkle the beans with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, just enough to brighten the flavors, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
That’s it. Simple but delicious!
NB: I wanted to dub this dish ‘fagiolini alla pugliese’ but, just to confuse matters even more, it turns out that there is such a dish, more or less identical to fagiolini in umido, but with a bit of peperoncino for spice. Go figure…

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12 Responses to “Angelina’s Green Beans with Onions and Mint”

  1. Cath
    17 May 2013 at 05:50 #

    This beautiful dish graced our table tonight without the breadcrumbs. Never in my wildest dreams would I have paired beans with mint. Gee I love it when I’m wrong! Thank you once again for your beautiful website full of delicious recipes!

  2. 24 June 2010 at 22:54 #

    Funny how recipes travel a little outside the borders…my mom makes them with mint, lemon zest and garlic, she's from Marche…but definitely often in umido with tomatoes. I will have to try Angelina's version w/ onions and crumbs! Simple yet delicious!

  3. 21 June 2010 at 01:21 #

    The beans look so pretty and very tasty! I like the combination of beans and mint with the bread crumbs…can't wait to try this out since I always make beans south indian style.

  4. 20 June 2010 at 20:53 #

    This is a healthy recipe! I like the simple ingredients. And the mint is something that I am so excited about.
    dining tables

  5. 20 June 2010 at 15:30 #

    This is such a favorite of mine…truly grand!

  6. 20 June 2010 at 14:35 #

    Childhood memories indeed! My grandmother used to prepare this.

  7. 20 June 2010 at 13:01 #

    nice green bean dish, I have never added mint to them, normally add thyme, will certainly give it a go

  8. 20 June 2010 at 12:57 #

    Hey frank, this is very similar to a south Indian bean curry! But we don't add mint. will try this variation.

  9. 20 June 2010 at 10:42 #

    I love the clean and simple flavors in this dish that let the green beans shine. Yum!

  10. 20 June 2010 at 10:38 #

    I like the simplicity of this dish, too. I especially like the final sprinkling of lemon juice–it makes such a big difference.

    Always nice to learn about other Italian dishes from you.

  11. 19 June 2010 at 23:08 #

    Like Lauren, I've never had green beans with mint, but will definitely give it a go! Looks simple and delicious! I've always had boiled beans fried with olive oil and garlic with soy sauce or salt. Chinese way. =)

  12. 19 June 2010 at 19:51 #

    Gorgeous! I would have never thought to put mint with green beans. I'm always doing the southern thing, onion and bacon, but Lord knows I need to lighten it up! That sounds wonderful!

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