Green Bean

We Shared a Recipe for a Green Bean Sandwich & People Got Upset

Let’s settle this once and for all.

July 15, 2021
Photo by Alpha Smoot

Crunchy, crispy, and vibrant as can be, green beans are practically one of the seven wonders of the world. Right? Right. We’re obsessed with them year-round, but especially during spring and summer, when they’re at their peak (like…right now!). But frankly, the same dish of sautéed green beans with slivered almonds and lemon zest can get a little boring time and time again. We’re always looking for new ways to highlight seasonal produce to change things up a bit. Food editor Emma Laperruque does this time and time again, asking questions like “What If Latkes Were Made With...Asparagus?”) and baking feta with fresh strawberries. Leave it to recipe developer and frequent Food52 contributor Caroline Lange to come up with a totally new and innovative way to serve green beans—in the form of a sandwich!

To make this beautiful bite, slices of focaccia are topped with the slices of mozzarella and are baked until the bread is toasted and cheese has melted. Then, a generous scoop of the marinated oily, vinegar-y beans are piled high on the bread for a vegetarian sandwich that balances the texture of creamy cheese, soft bread, and crisp beans. Simple and easy, right?

Yes...and no. Turns out, our Instagram followers were pretty divided over the concept of a green bean sandwich. One user commented, “I’m reporting this,” to which Patrick Moynihan, our Director of Social Media, wrote “please don’t, it’s just a sandwich.” Seriously people, It. Is. Just. A. Sandwich!

Some commenters said while they weren’t totally sold on the idea, they would try to keep an open mind. “I don’t hate this,” wrote Instagram user petervourloumis. Others didn’t seem to have strong opinions about the sandwich in general, but they were proud to see the Food52 social media team defending the sandwich—and clapping back at what we’d consider some pretty aggressive takes for what is ultimately vegetables inside of bread. (Oh, and for the last time, social media accounts like Instagram and Facebook are not run by interns!).

Fortunately, there were plenty of users on the right side of history. “Just ate this last night and it’s stupid good,” said user bexbakesalot. Another recalled eating a similar sandwich from Fra’s, an Italian sandwich shop in Rhode Island that actually served as the inspiration for Caroline’s creation: “I remember this sandwich from Fra’s! I only had it once and have always wanted to recreate it at home. Thanks!” You’re welcome, stacey_bodz.

Love the idea or hate it (but let’s be honest, there’s really no reason not to love it), don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it...and especially don’t come for poor Patrick in the comments section.

Have you tried making the Marinated Green Bean Sandwich? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below!
Listen Now

Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.

Listen Now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Ann Marie Kenny Barnum
    Ann Marie Kenny Barnum
  • Tammy
  • Enployeesearch
  • Lbrabandt
  • LauraNS
Former Food52 Staff Editor


Ann M. July 4, 2022
Made this last summer and it was so yummy.
Tammy July 4, 2022
It’s sad how rude and narrow minded people have become, and behave this way over something as benign as a sandwich! Especially without even trying it! I love all kinds of veggie sandwiches, and this sounds delicious with some of my home made sourdough focaccia, but I think I’ll add some roasted bell peppers and arugula and change the cream cheese to goat cheese
Enployeesearch July 22, 2021
Also, never thought to replace the celery in tuna salad, but chopped fresh green beans might be great! Or grean bean salad. That sandwich would be hard to bite into.
Enployeesearch July 22, 2021
Report you to whom?
rox L. July 4, 2022
It was probably a joke
Lbrabandt July 19, 2021
Considering my favorite open face sandwiche is steamed broccoli and carrots on a bagel with melted cheddar I don’t think this is unusual at all. Going to farm stand tomorrow and will get green beans…and broccoli!
LauraNS July 19, 2021
One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had is at Nordstrom Cafe Bistro. The Bistro Club has fresh sliced chicken with perfectly cooked bacon, thick slices of tomato and avocado and French green beans. They add the perfect crunch and brightness to the sandwich. It’s delicious!!!
cinamibun July 18, 2021
To those who think sandwiches must have only certain things and considers this sandwich recipe, not for them, then they most certainly have a limited palate of taste and a very boring menu of food to cook and eat. Don't negatively comment on something you have never tasted even a bite of. At least try it before you judge. I fund this an appropriate way to eliminate FOOD WASTE, which is something I don't allow in my household.
Sharon July 18, 2021
Well, this is one way to get your grown, hanger-on kids to finally leave home!
MLHE July 18, 2021
My grandmother Zlata, a native of Croatia, lived to be 93. When asked her secret for longevity she said, "Green beans!"
Gail July 18, 2021
And next. What about cream of green bean soup? Like broccoli or cauliflower or potato. I've been wondering when that recipe will appear.
Barb S. July 18, 2021
I’m of Ukrainian descent, born in Canada and we have a dish that is made of soft, tender bread dough wrapped in young tender beet leaves or Swiss chard. The baked little pieces end up about the diameter of a hotdog and around 2-4 inches long. They look like little dumbbells. When I tell people about this dish, they are usually grossed out to varying degrees. I’m sure some of you out there also know the dish. But when you add butter, sour cream or yogurt and/or a bit of heavy cream and dill, salt and a touch of pepper…heavenly. My point is, don’t knock it ‘till you try it. A lot of narrow mindedness and just downright rudeness is showing up over what… a few veggies and cheese and bread? Some North American-born people with no real exposure to good food have NO idea what good food really is. Expand your palates and really, hold your tongue until you’ve actually tried something instead of sounding like a bunch of toddlers. Some of you need a Baba to come around and align your manners. Now go to your rooms!
Pat T. July 18, 2021
Beetniks, yum
Barb S. July 18, 2021
Yes! :)
Kt4 July 18, 2021
It's pretty ridiculous an article had to be written to defend someone's suggested recipe & opinion. People in this country have no manners anymore. Mother's & father's everywhere are cringing at how their children are representing their family's values.
andrea S. July 18, 2021
I made this for lunch yesterday after seeing it on IG and finding green beans at the Farmer's Market. We were very skeptical, but all 3 of us LOVED it! I piled on the green beans, so there were more than in this picture. Definitely try it before you judge it!!
Sara B. July 18, 2021
I make this!!
To elevate it even more: swap out mozz for cream cheese, marinated green beans for roasted, and add on a drizzle of sriracha.

I call it my ‘Most Favorite Sandwich’.

Lynn D. July 17, 2021
This would be good if it were more like a Chacarero Chilean sandwich. There's a good recipe at Serious Eats. The green beans are sliced on the diagonal and cooked till soft then mixed with peperoncini. You could make it with with mozzarella instead of the steak. You could also make a tasty sandwich with vegetarian chopped liver made with green beans. There are lots of recipes online.
Matt July 17, 2021
If you think this is a good sandwich come over to my house then.

I have an old hard roll, a tub of mayo and a bag of tricolor frozen veggies for you.
Barb S. July 18, 2021
So narrow-minded
Robin July 18, 2021
Sarah R. July 16, 2021
This isn’t something I would make myself—to me, the bread to veggie recipe seems like a LOT of bread to a little bit of veggies (and I assume green beans wouldn’t pile as well as leafy greens, tomatoes, etc. do. I’m also personally of the opinion that a sandwich needs something in the “protein” category to be satisfying, so now I’m thinking of an open-faced fried egg and green bean sandwich.
Samantha M. July 16, 2021
I put cabbage leaves in sandwiches with mayo and peanut butter so who am I to judge.
Ginger B. July 15, 2021
It might be a little weird, but people put all kinds of things on sandwiches that I wouldn't (potato chips?). I recently had a Tuna Niçoise Sandwich at a restaurant in Gloucester, MA that featured perfectly blanched green beans. It was too bonkers full of everything to actually pick up and eat, but I think it would make a great wrap!
Regine July 18, 2021
The sandwich you had is a classic found all over Provence and called "pan bagna". Delicious! True, it can be a bit messy to eat :-)