Monday, September 15, 2014

Yellow Beans with Tomato and Garlic

It's been an odd growing season around here this summer (if you can even call it summer), what with all the cool weather and rain, so everything was late and most of the things I regularly buy were neither plentiful nor so good this time around.  However, there is always that one fruit or vegetable that seems to thrive on the peculiarities and this year was no exception.  The beans seemed to rise to the challenge, and every time I went to the market they looked so bright and fresh and tasty that I ended up buying them every time.  Everything else ranged from "oh my, the poor dears," to "well I guess these look ok," but the beans just shone.  That is the one thing that I can hold onto from this season - the beans were plentiful and delicious.

I mostly made my Slow-Braised Green Beans, which were a hit pretty much everywhere I took them.  But this week I was gifted with the most beautiful yellow beans from my friend's garden and they were so firm and fresh that I wanted to try to retain as much of that fresh crispness as I could.  So I decided to try a different technique.  I wanted to cook them quickly but I did not want them to be too crisp, and as anyone who has cooked beans knows, the line between perfectly cooked and a bowl of mush is very fine, indeed.  That is why I was so happy to find the slow-braised method; it is the only time where the beans can cook for a long time without ending up a pile of mush.

But I wanted something faster than the slow-braising method, and I didn't feel like pulling out the wok for a stir-fry, which is another method of cooking the beans without overcooking them that I will sometimes use.  Besides, I wanted to try a different method to see if I have learned anything new in the past few years.  So I decided to just saute them in a skillet and hope for the best.

I was quite happy with the results.  When the beans were cooked I removed them from the skillet so I could thicken the braising liquid.  I ended up with perfectly cooked beans covered in a thick, rich sauce.
Home Cookin 8.59: My Recipes
4 servings

1 lb yellow beans, trimmed and broken in half
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato puree

Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in medium sized skillet. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly, being careful not to let it burn. Add the beans and cook for about 5 minutes, until they just start to get tender. Add the wine, tomato puree, thyme and dill. Season with the salt and pepper.

As soon as the liquid begins to boil take the heat down to low, cover the skillet, and let the beans cook for ten minutes (or less if you like them more crisp).

Remove the beans from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set them aside in your serving plate or bowl.  Cook down the tomato and wine liquid over high heat until it thickens, about 7 minutes. Serve the beans with the thickened sauce poured over them.


Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (

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