Green Beans with Potatoes: A Twisty Remake of a Classic Recipe

Can a poorly made dish give you more pleasure than a technically perfect one? On rare occasions, yes. When our taste memory comes into play, we tend to take for granted what we would not tolerate in another context. An example: your mother’s croquettes or your grandmother’s rice may not be the best, but if you have eaten them since your earliest childhood, their possible drawbacks become less important, and returning to them gives you more taste than any more refined version. .

This happened to me with my mother’s potatoes with pods. Seen from a contemporary culinary perspective, they were truly awful: the green beans agonized in boiling water for countless minutes and came out of the pot a not-so-sexy brown color (and it’s not that Doña María Carmen cooked badly, that’s the way it was). vegetables in the not too distant past). However, every time I returned to Bilbao and found them on my plate, accompanied by potatoes and seasoned with refried garlic, something in the recesses of my brain screamed YES.

Don’t worry, because on today’s plate there is no place for overcooked vegetables, that part of “grandmothers’ kitchen” that, luckily, rests in peace in the gastronomy cemetery. Rather, I propose the opposite: some green beans -really- cooked to the point, without grinding the teeth but preserving their original flavor. Where I do throw myself into tradition is in the potatoes, which we could call revolconas: there is my holy mother’s rehash, enhanced with smoked paprika, to activate the dopamine of memory.

The recipe is inspired by the warm salad of pods with potatoes by Rodrigo de la Calle, included in his book Green kitchen. My adaptation is much simpler and more domestic, because he is a great cook, and I am not. If you want to see him in action in previous episodes of El Comidista, here you have him preparing a fantastic carrot salmorejo or giving great advice on not torturing vegetables.



The one to put water to heat.


for 4 people

  • 700g green beans
  • 2 large or three medium potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of hot paprika
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Heat a saucepan with water over high heat and a couple of teaspoons of salt, and prepare a bowl with water and ice.
  2. Remove the ends that join the beans to the plant. Cut them into thin strips slightly diagonally.
  3. When the water is boiling, put the beans to cook and leave them for about two minutes as soon as the water returns to a boil. Take one out and, being careful not to burn yourself, taste it. If it’s too hard, leave it for another minute.
  4. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon (the water will be used later to cook the potatoes) and put them in the bowl of ice water.
  5. Drain them, put them on a plate or bowl, season them with a little salt and extra virgin olive oil, cover them and let them rest.
  6. Put the well washed potatoes without peeling them in the water in which the beans have been cooked. Let them cook over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until you pierce them with a toothpick or a small knife and they go in easily. Turn off the heat and let them cool down in the water.
  7. When they are warm, take them out of the water, peel them, put them in a bowl, crumble them a little with a fork and salt them.
  8. Heat six tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While it is heating, chop the garlic and add it.
  9. When the garlic begins to brown, remove the pan from the heat and add the paprika. Shake the pan so that it is well integrated and pour the oil over a bowl, passing it through a strainer if you do not want to put the garlic on the potatoes.
  10. Clean the pan a little with a kitchen paper and return it to the fire. Sauté the green beans there, just enough to heat them up (one minute). Return them to their bowl.
  11. Put the potatoes in the pan and stir them so that they heat evenly. Water them with the oil without the paprika residue falling on them. Stir carefully so they don’t turn into a puree, until they turn red.
  12. Serve the potatoes with the green beans on top.

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