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'Katherine's Favourites'

Recipe #1

Green Beans & Tomato Sauté

Home & Garden

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When I was eleven, I told my aunt that green beans were my “desert island” food – the one thing I’d take with me if I found myself banished eternally to a desert island.  The fact that a kid would say such a thing is almost as hard to believe as the ridiculous scenario itself! 

Around the same age, after helping yet another aunt pick green beans and obviously suffering from extreme bean enthusiasm, I wrote “Ode to a Bean”.  That will definitely remain unpublished, but I suppose you’ve figured out by now that I’m a big fan of green beans.  So, it’s understandable that I am thrilled to see them entering the house by the bagful, both from my weekly CSA box and contributions from my mother’s garden.  

The best way to prepare green beans, in my opinion, is always to sauté in a little bit of olive oil.  That keeps them from getting too mushy and they taste better than when boiled or steamed.  If I have a bit of extra time and a few more ingredients, though, I make the deluxe version of sautéed green beans – a technique shown to me by my bean-picking aunt. 

Using green beans, tomatoes, and basil, all of which are in season right now, you’ll feel like you’ve got a condensed garden sitting on your plate; I promise you, the flavour is that intense!  The end result can be served as a side dish or turned into a vegetarian main course by tossing with hot pasta and grated Parmesan.

Note: The recipe is very forgiving, so use whatever quantities you’ll eat.

Green Bean & Tomato Sauté

Olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tomatoes, diced

Green beans, ends snipped and cut in half (as many as you want to eat)

Handful of fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add chopped garlic and cook very briefly without letting it brown.  

2. Add diced tomatoes and mix well.  Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have released juice and are starting to break down, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add green beans and mix into tomatoes.  Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender.  Remove from heat.

4. Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.  

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Friday, August 26, 2011