This bright, beautiful side dish will steal the spotlight at dinner, thanks to the sweet, tangy balsamic bell pepper relish. It’s incredible! (Vegan, Paleo & Whole30 approved)
- 10-12oz. trimmed green beans (frozen or fresh)
- 2 cups diced bell peppers (I like 1 red & 1 yellow bell pepper)
- 1 small red onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (can sub ghee or butter, as desired)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start your pepper relish. Heat olive oil in a medium pan over low heat. Add diced bell peppers and onions and stir regularly over low heat while the onions and peppers caramelize. This will take about 20-25 minutes. (Try not to rush–see notes for details)
- When the peppers and onions are caramelized, tender, and sweet, add balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and taste. Add additional salt, pepper or balsamic, as desired.
- If your peppers or vinegar are more tangy than you like, you can temper this by adding 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup to the mixture (Note: not Whole30 approved)
- While the peppers and onions are caramelizing, cook your green beans. Place green beans in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Cover with a lid and bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook green beans 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender (cook longer if you like your beans more tender).
- Drain and set beans aside on a plate or bowl for serving. Spoon pepper relish over the green beans and serve.
Don’t Rush (Cook it Low & Slow!) – It’s tempting to try to speed the caramelization process up by cranking up the heat, but DON’T DO IT. True caramelization comes when the natural sugars have time to break down and the veggies have time to soften, which happens best at lower heat. If you use higher heat, you won’t get the same sweet, tender result. I promise. It’s worth the wait.
Think Sweet. I really prefer sweet bell peppers for this recipe–red, orange, and yellow. I find they caramelize better and cook up sweeter than green bell peppers do. I don’t recommend green peppers for this recipe. I also prefer using aged balsamic, if you can find it. It’s got a deeper, richer, sweet flavor that’s amazing.
Flavor Boosters – This is amazing on its own, but you can kick up the flavor in a few ways. First, you can add a clove of garlic to the relish during the last minute of cooking. Or, you can add a bit of kick with a pinch of red chili flakes at the end. If you need another idea, I always love to play with flavored olive oils. (Rosemary is pretty lovely here for a different flavor.)
Other Ways to Enjoy This Balsamic Bell Pepper Relish – It’s amazing here on green beans, but I’m all about versatility, and this relish is good in all sorts of ways. It’s great on a panini with a thin slice of ham or peppered turkey, spooned over grilled chicken, or mixed into quinoa for a quick salad.
Keywords: green beans, balsamic green beans, balsamic pepper relish, bell pepper relish, green beans with bell peppers