Gentle Readers, the Practical Cook adores a simple summer side. Though she used to be a green bean hater, she has now been transformed because of her CSA, courtesy of Brinkley Farms, and a boatload of garlic. You see, growing up in the South, I was subjected to endless overcooked green beans that squeaked. I love you mom, but I do despise a limp green bean.
Enter the Chinese buffet. After some experimentation, and a natural prey drive (er, buffet drive?) to try one of everything, I discovered I liked very lightly cooked, slender, garlicky green beans. Preferably with soy. My Brinkley Farms beans are so good, I don’t even need soy.
This led to more experimentation, and the consumption of Roma beans. They’re the flat ones. Here’s a riff on my basic recipe, a simple side, and pretty too.
Garlicky Roma Beans with Tomatoes Recipe
splash of olive oil
1 lb Roma beans (or standard, government issue fresh green beans), washed, dried, and ends trimmed
minimum of 3 cloves of garlic minced or pressed (if you press, press them into a teaspoon of water to prevent burning)
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil until shimmering over a strong medium heat in a medium skillet that has a lid. The lid is not on, but nearby during this stage.
2. When the oil is hot, toss the prepped Roma beans into the oil. If they are not dry, you will not be happy at this moment. Please make sure they’re dry or you’re standing back from the pan. Stir-fry the beans for a couple of minutes, tossing thoroughly in the oil.
3. Add the garlic, saute for 30 seconds, then add a splash of water. Toss with the beans and season with salt and pepper. Slap the lid on the skillet. Steam/saute for 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes. Stir, cook for a few more minutes, or until tomatoes are warm and beans are just cooked. (If you need them floppy and squeaky, I will avert my eyes at this point.)
Pat yourself on the back, and serve the beautiful green and red side dish. Tastes even better if you employ small people to snap the bean ends for you.
What is your most loathed vegetable from childhood? Do you still hate it? Comment here, or Tweet.
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Coming up next, Kitchen Tool Talk, 3 More of My Favorite Things.