Unlike in the US where you can get nearly every ingredient you need all year round, some vegetables in Holland are only on store shelves for a few weeks a year. I know…what is this blasphemy I speak of, right? Is it really possible that some plants only bloom once per year? No fresh pineapples in winter? No white asparagus in fall!?!
Seriously…globalization has us so confused…and spoiled.
The snijboon is a HUGE green bean, in essence They taste nearly identical.
I think that the snijboon is one of these seasonal veggies. Although it is entirely possible that I just never bothered to notice them until they were on sale at the market. I consider myself to be adventurous with foods, but I will usually skip over veggies that I think will be bland, complicated, or just too much work when there is sunshine, cocktails, and long bike rides to be had.
This is also an expat problem–you don’t recognize half of the veggies at the super market (although maybe this is also true if you walk into whole foods stateside?). You want to eat local, fresh, and integrate as much as possible on as many levels as you can. For me, this is particularly true with food. When I first arrived in Holland (pre-vegan), I ate SOOO much dairy, like, you would have thought I was a baby cow had you not seen me walking as a biped. In retrospect, it was a shameful start…well mostly…no regrets about the Hangop…best yogurt on Earth. The cheese isn’t so bad either ;-P
To help you expats get the most our of your shopping, I will try to post recipes for the weird veggies on the shelves from here on out. You’re welcome.
Dutch snijbonen with spicy peanut sauce
1 pound snijbonen or green beans
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 inch knob of ginger
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 vegan bouillon cube
2 spicy thai chilis, or a few shakes of red pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Remove the tips of the beans and then slice the remainder into 1/4 inch strips. Saute the garlic, ginger, chili, and onion over medium heat until golden brown, then add the snijbonen. Saute until well coated, then add in the wine, peanut butter, bouillon, and soy sauce. Let it cook until beans are tender and liquid is reduced to a nice gravy, about 5 minutes.