Posted by: Erica Retrochef | October 20, 2014

Green Beans Viennese

Vegetables. They’re supposed to be included with every meal, but it always feels like a challenge to come up with something creative — and more importantly, something that the kids will eat.

Adding fruit seems like either a good idea, or a terrible idea…


2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 whole cloves
1/2 lemon, seeded and thinly sliced
1 unpeeled red apple, cored and cubed
1 medium onion, coarsely cut
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 can (1 lb.) DEL MONTE Brand Cut Blue Lake Green Beans, drained

Heat first 6 ingredients together to make syrup. Add lemon slices; simmer until transparent (about 5 min.); stir in apple, onion. Cover and cook till apple is just tender. Thicken sauce with cornstarch mixed with water. Add drained beans; heat, stirring lightly, till beans are hot. Makes 4 to 5 servings. Good with fish or pork.


I don’t know what about this stuff is supposed to be reminiscent of Vienna. But then, I have to admit I’m not completely familiar with Viennese cooking. Is it usually full of lemons and apples?


Or spicy syrups?


Candied lemon slices?


Or even green beans, for that matter?


Regardless, we’ve got an awful lot of sweet-and-sour apple/lemon/onion mixture here, and only one can of beans. That ratio was a little overwhelming at first…


When a second can of green beans was added, the balance of sweet, sour, and beans was improved. Aside from that small problem of proportions, this was a really interesting and delicious vegetable recipe. It’s surprising the things you can accomplish with canned green beans.

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  1. That sort of sweet and sour thing is VERY German / Austrian. My favorite potato salad is German Style, and it’s got sugar and vinegar in it. What many people call German Cole Slaw, is fixed almost identically, and there are Wilted Lettuce Recipes, again, with that same sweet & sour dressing.

    Some people make Rouladen with sweet pickle relish and a sharp mustard to get that same front of the tongue / back of the tongue thing.

  2. I think your problem here is that you forgot to use Del Monte green beans. That surely would have upped the excitement factor! 🙂

    • For a blog that cooks so many brand-name recipes, I’m sure bad at using those brand-name products! 😀

  3. …huh. We’ve always had apples, grapes or raisins in things like tuna salad, so this isn’t ENTIRELY beyond the realm of reasonable, but my hang-up again is canned veg – I can’t help but think it that they’d be sweeter and have a better feel fresh. On the other hand, cooking the apples, etc., probably brings them all close together in softness and flavor. This looks interesting enough to try… with some variations.

    • I agree that fresh is better. Canned has the advantage of convenience and any-season availability… although if you can’t get fresh beans, a lemon or apple might also be scarce 😉

  4. It sounds rather good- I’ve found that a little salt & balsamic vinegar can improve canned beans.

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