The actual name of this dish from The Italian Mama’s Kitchen is Sweet and Sour Green Beans or in Italian Fagiolini all’Agro.
Early in the recipe for this it was mentioned to use French beans. That got me thinking, are these French-Italian beans and if so, who is the sweet and who is the sour? Cultural stereotyping tells me that both can be such, but just like a Japanese eggplant and Chinese eggplant are both eggplants, they are also not the same.
So, I did a quick investigation and what did I find? Agro in Italian means sour, but it also means countryside. Given that Agro was capitalized in the naming of this dish, it would appear to be going for the countryside term, but this is also a truly sweet and sour dish.
I’d like to think the Italians were being clever when they named this since the naming means both. If we were to do a direct translation to Californian we’d call this Farm Fresh Sweet and Sour Beans, but’s that’s long right? So Italians were like, it’s from the farm, it’s sweet and sour. Let’s just called it all’Argo so people get that it’s both!
Still doesn’t explain the whole French bean thing, but maybe that’s just a side note anyway.
What you’ll need
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 10 1/2 ounces of fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- Lemon wedges
The first step is to fill a saucepan with salted water and bring it to a boil. Once boiled add the beans and cook for about 5-8 minutes or until tender. Drain the water and set the beans aside.
We are now going to mix our sweet and sour dressing. Do so by mixing in a small bowl the lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar with your to taste addons of salt and pepper. Once everything has been properly mixed pour it over your beans and toss.
The beans should have a nice glossy coat and you should be ready to serve and eat with lemon wedges on the side.
This is another dish that turned out well! It’s amazing how a simple dressing can transform a vegetable into something delectable.
This is exactly what’s happening here. The olive oil gives the beans a smooth silky texture and the lemon juice and vinegar give it a slight kick that dances around your tastebuds.
If you need a simple side dish for dinner then I highly recommend you give these beans a try!