Potatoes and green beans polpettone is a flagship dish, a symbol, of the Italian Riviera traditional cuisine: few poor ingredients, wisely measured, for a plate extremely good, healty and light. In the rest of Italy polpettone means meat loaf. In the veggie-crazy Italian Riviera, it is made of vegetables, eggs and cheese: the very few ingredients at disposal of the ancient Ligurian peasants.
My granny used to prepare it on summer time when all the family gather in our beautiful seaside home in Cervo Ligure. Poor woman, when she prepared her potatoes and green beans tart – and she prepared a huge baking pan, we were many – she was hardly able to get it on the table. Yes, because regardless her shouts and repreoachs, everybody, young and old, walking by the polpettone cooling on the windowsill couldn’t resist and cut out a slide. Then a slide leads to another …and the polpettone finished in the blink of an eye and my granny at the very last minute should arrange for something else to put on the table for an always big and hungry family.
The traditional recipe of the Liguria veggie polpettone provides for green beans and potatoes only as veggie. At our home we add some stewed onion to give a sweeter taste or, sometimes, we use a small eggplant – stewed as well – in lieu of one potato to make polpettone even lighter and with a soft bitter flavour. Then, for a full Italian Riviera taste do not forget to add aromatic herbs! The traditional one is marjoram, but parsley, oregano and thyme work very well too.
This potatoes and green beans tart a very versatile dish. You can have it as a snack, as a street food, as a starter or as a main dish. We actually eat polpettone as a light main dish for lunch during spring or summer time with some salad aside. And it’s a very taste compromise too if you decide to limit your meat intake!
SHARING IS CARING!