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History Cookbook: Boiled Beans

This recipe is in categories Healthy eating, Side dishes, Vegetarian
About this recipe
Healthiness : (230 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: It is a good idea to start making the sauce while the beans are cooking. If you have not finished by the time the beans are ready, then drain them and keep them warm.
Preparation Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Number of servings: Serves 2 as a main course or 4 with a meal.
Serving suggestions: Serve with grilled fish or cream cheese with brown bread
This is a vegan recipe

This dish would be served as part of the gustatio or starters. Meat dishes, pies and more substantial vegetable dishes would be served as the first course, the primae mensae. Sweets, baked custards and puddings would be served as the final course of the meal, the secundae mensae.

This recipe has been adapted from 'Apicius' cookery book, this is one of our main sources of information about food and eating amongst Roman citizens.

Many Roman recipes use liquamen, a fermented fish sauce. This was so popular that it was factory produced in many towns in the Roman Empire. You can substitute Thai fish sauce for liquamen. The taste is very distinctive and you may prefer to omit the fish sauce.
For the main dish:

  • 1 packet of green beans (160g approx)
For the sauce:
  • 2-3 handfuls of pine nuts
  • 1 dessertspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard (wholegrain is best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • dessertspoon of Thai fish sauce (optional)
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Top and tail the green beans
  2. Put them into a saucepan and pour hot water over to cover them
  3. Boil them for 3-4 minutes
  4. Drain and put into a warm serving dish
  5. Mix the honey, cumin, mustard and vinegar in a mortar, add the pine nuts and grind to a paste
  6. Add the Thai fish sauce (liquamen substitute) if desired
  7. Spoon the sauce over the hot drained beans and serve
Boiled Beans - print view  Boiled Beans - print view

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Name: Dollie 14th January 2012
You've hit the ball out the park! Incredible!
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