Patatas con Vainitas - Family Recipe

Patatas con Vainitas – Potatoes with green beans. A Spaniard family recipe.

My mother in law, a northern Spaniard from Asturias, was a really good cook, not as good as my Tuscan mother, but good. Most of her traditional recipes are treasures to the family still to this day, passed down generation after generation, with little modifications, unknown to the world but so familiar to all Spaniards. Her cooking was simple and rustic, relying entirely on the freshness of seasonal ingredients.

Potatoes with green beans is a really simple, nutritious, low carb/high fiber and fairly quick meal. Usually eaten for dinner because of its lightness, after a soup or salad, and never, EVER as a side dish. Serving it as a side dish would be considered offensive, just like we real Italians consider spaghetti with meatballs as offensive and non-Italian as it gets.

Patatas con Vainitas - Potatoes with green beans. Recipe.

Patatas con Vainitas – Potatoes with green beans. Recipe.

Recipe by Manuela ValentiCourse: Food, Manuela’s JournalCuisine: SpainDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 500 grams (1 pound) of fresh snap green beans, ends trimmed, stringed, cut in half and washed.

  • 2 large or 4 medium white or yellow potatoes peeled, washed and cut in large cubes.

  • 2 large garlic teeth (cloves) sliced.

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil of good quality for cooking plus 2 more for dressing.

  • 2 cups of water

  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  • In a large pot add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the sliced garlic.
  • Roast the garlic until golden.
  • Lower the heat and add the green beans. On top add the potato cubes and the water.
  • Cover and let simmer without mixing for 20-30 minutes or until soft and tender.
  • A good signal to know the dish is ready, is to check for the water level on the pot. If water is just barely covering the bottom of the pan, the dish is ready.
  • Once it has finished cooking turn off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • With a slotted or perforated spoon, spoon the green beans and potatoes draining the liquid as much as possible and serve in soup bowls. Dress with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


  • Buen Provecho!
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