by Cat, Dec 2018 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
This year for Christmas Day dinner I wanted to go Greek, and do a roast leg of lamb with my lamb spice rub. But what veggies to serve with it? Since green beans are a frequent side dish for Christmas Day dinner, I decided to start with that, and add other Mediterranean veggies: artichoke, zucchini, spinach or other greens, and of course garlic and onion, sautéed.
It was delicious! and especially great with lamb. Read on for my recipe.
Greek-Style Sautéed Veggies
While I served this on Christmas Day, it would be great any day of the year. It goes without saying to use Organic or organically-grown veggies – perhaps from your own garden. But this is especially important with zucchini, because a GMO version can be found in the US and Canada.
Notes about ingredients:
- Beans: I used young, thin green beans; I don’t recommend older, fatter green beans because they can be tough. Another option is fava beans or lima beans; or you can use both green beans and fava/lima beans. Fava beans require a bit more prep, so you need to start them earlier. See Cooked Fava Beans for more detail. Lima beans have similar texture and flavor but require little prep.
- Greens: I would prefer spinach, but the first time I made this, all I had on-hand was red kale, and it was delicious in the mix. Another good choice would be beet greens or chard.
- Onions: The kind I usually have on-hand are Walla Walla Sweets, but any variety of onion can be used. I use my own garden’s garlic, which are large white cloves (I don’t recall the variety’s name).
- Artichokes: Using canned and seasoned artichoke hearts is easiest, especially if you don’t have a lot of time. When I made this dish for Christmas, I had wanted to use fresh hearts (cooked), but there were none at my local grocer, so I used a bottle of canned and seasoned artichoke hearts. They were great, and much easier than prepping fresh hearts!
- Tomatoes (optional ingredient): I like to use “grape” tomatoes because they are small. After washing and rinsing, I cut them in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds with my finger tip (the seeds contain toxic lectins that can cause digestive upset for many people). However, I didn’t use them for Christmas dinner, as I had plenty of fresh ones in my greens and feta salad. Another option is Roma tomatoes, because they are mostly seedless.
I didn’t keep track of the weights for each of the veggies, so go by feel until I can update with that info.
This recipe makes 2 – 3 servings
Ingredients & Equipment
- Fresh green beans – a good handful, trimmed
- Lima or fava beans – a small handful (optional)
- Fresh leafy greens (spinach, chard or kale)
- 2 – 4 fresh artichoke hearts, cooked (or canned)
- 1 fresh lemon (if using fresh artichokes)
- 1 small Organic zucchini for 6 – 8 slices, ¼-inch thick
- 6 – 10 grape tomatoes, halved and seeds removed (optional)
- ½ large onion or 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- oregano, to taste (unless using canned & seasoned artichoke hearts)
- unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan, with lid
- Onion: remove dried outer peal, then wash and rinse onion. slice crosswise into rings, about ¼-inch thick if rings are large, cut in half or quarters.
- Garlic: trim then rinse cloves. Mince to less than ⅛-inch pieces and set aside with sliced onion.
- Green beans: Wash, rinse and trim the beans; snap into two if longer than 3 -4 inches.
- Fava beans (optional): see my post Cooked Fava Beans, Sautéed Fresh Favas recipe, for prep detail.
- Lima beans (optional): I would use frozen limas because that’s all I can get at our local grocer; plus they require no prep unless you wish to thaw them before using.
- Leafy greens: Wash and rinse. Unless leaves are small (like baby spinach), trim leaves from stem and tear into large, bite-size pieces.
- Artichoke hearts: If using fresh artichokes, see TheKitchn blog (1) for how to prepare and cook the hearts; you will want a fresh lemon for its juice, to keep them looking fresh. Season them with salt and pepper, and a bit of fresh or dried oregano. If using canned, no prep is needed.
- Zucchini: Wash and rinse; do not peel. Slice crosswise, ¼-inch thick.
- Tomatoes (optional): Wash and rinse. If small, cut in half lengthwise to remove seeds. If larger, cut into wedges and remove seeds.
- Sauté: Heat pan over medium, then add sufficient olive oil for the sauté and reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion/garlic mix and stir to coat with oil and let cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender.
- Add sliced zucchini, stir and saute 2 minutes, then turn over. Add prepped beans and cooked/canned artichokes; continue the sauté until beans are done, adding a bit of filtered or broth water to keep veggies from sticking to pan or browning.
- When just done, remove from heat and serve.
- The Kitchn: How to Prepare Artichokes