My grandmothers always made a big pot of Southern style green beans with a Virginia ham bone in it when we came to visit, and I would eat multiple helpings of those flavorful beans. The ham bone lent a smoky flavor to the beans that stuck in my memory and remains to this day. You could find them on the table among the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and biscuits.
These vegan beans, while not my grandmother’s, are full of flavor with caramelized red onions and a light balsamic vinegar sauce. The recipe comes from one of my go-to healthy foods cookbooks, The Essential Eating Well Cookbook from the editors of EatingWell magazine. If balsamic vinegar isn’t your thing, you can use red wine vinegar or a dry red wine instead.
Green Beans with Caramelized Red Onions
- 5 to 6-quart pot with lid
- 12-inch skillet with lid
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 medium red onions (about 1-3/4 pounds/794 g, each cut into 16 wedges)
- 16 ounces green beans (trimmed)
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar or dry red wine)
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- sea salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- In the skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until caramelized around the edges, about 20 minutes.
- While the onions cook, bring water to boil in the large pot. Add a bit of salt and the green beans. Cook uncovered until crisp-tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain.
- Add the broth to the onions and stir, cooking for about 5 more minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper, and stir.
- Add the green beans to the skillet and cover. Cook for about 2 minutes. Serve warm.