Recipe: Swiss Green Beans

The binding on my mom’s copy of Enchanted Broccoli Forest gave up a few years ago, but I've continued to carry both pieces to every new abode. Written by the founder of The Moosewood Cafe in Ithaca, NY, it’s a must-have among liberal households on the East Coast. I found myself in the actual cafe a few years ago while doing some work with Cornell. I had a cold, and sat at the bar. The manager made me a cup of tea with honey and lemon and some other secret ingredient. We talked about my mom, and the two halves of that well-worn cookbook. -- lennon



From Mollie Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest


  • 1 ½ lbs fresh, whole green beans -- cleaned and destrung
  • ½ lb good Swiss cheese, in thin strips
  • ½ cup chopped ripe olives
  • ½ cup each thinly sliced green & red peppers
  • ½ cup (or more) chopped, toasted almonds


  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves freshly crushed garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp crushed tarragon
  • ½ tsp dried dill weed
  • ½ sp salt (more, to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup packed freshly minced parsley
  • 4 servings


  1. Steam the beans until just tender. (Larger beans will take longer than thinner ones.) Remove from heat, and immediately rinse in cold water.
  2. While the beans are cooking, combine the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to thoroughly combine.
  3. Add the rinsed (well-drained) beans to the dressing. Add Swiss cheese. Toss until dressing is well-distributed. Cover tightly, and marinade 2-3 hours, stirring about once an hour. 
  4. Add olives and sliced peppers. Mix well, cover, and chill overnight or at least 5 hours.
  5. Serve topped with almonds.