Smoked salt adds a hint of Southern style to this easy, vegan green beans and potatoes side dish.
I know that after my recent talk about all the San Francisco restaurants where we dined on our vacation, some of you expected me to come back with ideas for fancy, cutting-edge dishes. Well, sorry to disappoint you, but here I am with something so un-trendy, so uncool, that most bloggers would be afraid to post it. Well, not me!
Boiled vegetables may have fallen out of fashion with foodies, but this side dish is one of those comfort food recipes that I associate with growing up in Louisiana. When we got fresh green beans, my mother would cook them up with potatoes, the broth forming a delicious “pot likker” that we would sop up with wedges of homemade corn bread. There would always be some black-eyed peas, lima beans, or other fresh field peas on the table, along with slices of home-grown tomato, summer-fresh corn on the cob, and maybe a pot of greens.
So, after a few days of eating out in some of the best vegan restaurants in the country, I came home and almost immediately cooked up an old-fashioned Southern meal. It felt good to get back to basics with some food that feeds my Southern soul.
- 1 large onion, chopped or thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 12 ounces small new potatoes, halved
- 4-6 cups vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt or liquid smoke
- salt to taste (if using sodium-free broth)
- In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, cook the onion until it begins to brown, adding a splash of water when necessary to keep it from sticking. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the green beans and the potatoes and then add enough broth to barely cover the potatoes. Add black pepper to taste, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the smoked salt or Liquid Smoke and cook for another minute. Serve with slotted spoon to reserve broth for another use or serve in a bowl with a piece of cornbread for sopping up all the flavorful broth.