List of Recipes

Green Beans with Pumpkin

When I make this recipe, I use two of my favorite West Indian vegetables: bodi beans and pumpkin. Bodi beans are also called Chinese beans, yard beans, or long beans, which nicely describes them. A bit sturdier than the green beans we North Americans are accustomed to, they profit from a longer cooking time than just a quick steaming. In the U.S. and Canada, you can often find them in supermarkets catering to an Asian or West Indian clientele, or you can substitute green beans. If you don't have access to West Indian pumpkin, also called calabaza, you can use butternut squash, which provides similar taste and texture.

This recipe makes an excellent side dish with stewed chicken, or grilled fish and rice, or any curry. It serves two, but is easily doubled or tripled.

Green Beans with Pumpkin

1/2 lb bodi beans or other green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (125 mL)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk sive or green onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
Scotch bonnet or other hot pepper, chopped (to taste)
1-2 seasoning peppers or 1/4-1/2 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tsp curry powder (preferably a West Indian type)
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb cubed pumpkin or butternut squash (approx.)
chopped chadon bene or cilantro (for garnish)

1. If using bodi beans, cut into short lengths. (Green beans can be left whole.)
2. Heat the olive oil in a pod or pan with a lid. Add onion, garlic, sive or green onion, thyme, chopped pepper(s), and cook a couple minutes until softened and fragrant.
3. Stir in curry and continue cooking for a minute or two to release the flavor.
4. Stir in beans and pumpkin or squash until they’re coated in the spicy onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Lower heat, cover, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the beans are tender and the pumpkin or squash melts into a sauce. (Mash it a bit with your spoon.)
6. If mixture seems dry and starting to stick, stir in about ¼ cup of water.
7. Taste for seasoning, and sprinkle with chadon bene or cilantro if desired.

Serves 2 lavishly.

Variation: Omit the pumpkin and substitute a couple of chopped tomatoes.

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