Make Ahead

Marinated Green Bean Sandwiches

September 22, 2015
5 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
Author Notes

I grew up visiting the beaches of Westerly, Rhode Island—and on so many evenings, salty and sleepy, we'd drive over to Watch Hill for the sunset, the people-watching, and the ice cream cones. But we'd always stop for dinner at Fra's, an unassuming and extremely wonderful Italian deli. My order: the marinated green bean sandwich. When Fra's closed a few years back, I began craving the sandwich. This rendition is pretty close to what I remember (but for the full experience, you have to follow it with an ice cream cone). —Caroline Lange

  • Makes 4 sandwiches
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (to taste—but be generous)
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 focaccia rolls, halved (or 8 slices of focaccia; if you've made a pan of focaccia, slice 4 big squares and then cut each in half so you have 8 thin squares of focaccia)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced very thinly
In This Recipe
  1. Trim the green beans. In a large frying pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, then add the green beans, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Sauté the beans until they are bright green and tender-crisp. They shouldn't squeak, but they should still be firm.
  2. Toss the green beans with the red wine vinegar and set aside for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  3. When you're ready to eat, preheat the oven to about 350° F and arrange the slices of focaccia on baking sheet with the cut sides up. Arrange the slices of mozzarella on top of the bread and slide it all into the oven until the bread is warm and the cheese is beginning to melt.
  4. Remove the warmed bread from the oven and make the sandwiches: Top a slice of the cheesy bread with a heap of green beans (as many as you can pack on) and top with the other slice of bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hannah211
  • The Pontificator
    The Pontificator
  • Elizabeth Applebaum
    Elizabeth Applebaum
  • Kathryn Lange
    Kathryn Lange
  • Caroline Lange
    Caroline Lange
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.

9 Reviews

Linda D. September 17, 2018
I made this for lunch today, Caroline-yum! I used the buns I had on hand, and served them open faced.
Hannah211 May 20, 2018
I grew up summering in Westerly too! I remember Fra's green bean focaccia like it was yesterday, they were my favorite too! I've had such a craving for them too. It's too bad Fra's is gone, it was also a great place to pick up a coffee and these HUGE pastries that a quarter piece would look like a Starbucks scone. Same price. Oh, those days are gone...
The P. April 15, 2018
I'd bet asparagus would be just as good as green beans..
The P. April 15, 2018
I'd add a couple of anchovy fillets during the bean-sauteeing step. That's the Italian in me.
JJGood June 15, 2017
I've had this on my radar for a while and finally made it. I cooked the green beans just as instructed (which took longer than I thought it would, about five to seven minutes), but instead of toasting the cheese on the bread, I brushed the bread with some of the marinate, then scooped the last of it with the residual garlic on top of the green beans before I topped it. It was creamy, spicy, sharp, and cool. Totally loved it.
Elizabeth A. October 6, 2015
Oh my gosh this looks so delicious I had to share immediately on my FB page.
Kathryn L. October 6, 2015
Thanks for the memory, Babe!
Girlfromipanema September 29, 2015
This looks great, but you wouldn't boil the green beans first?
Author Comment
Caroline L. September 29, 2015
i've had luck just sautéing them before marinating (borrowing the method from canal house's genius zucchini), but if you boil them first, let me know what you think! the not-too-soft texture is pretty crucial, though, so don't let 'em go too far :)