July 15, 2011

Green Beans with Garlic and Tomato

Jeffrey asked me to cook the green beans while he was grilling up some pork ribsI decided to try a recipe from Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh VegetablesI started off with Andrea Chesman's Green Bean Saute with Garlic and Tomato, but found that it was a little bland for our tastes.  Also, it seems like most contemporary recipe writers like crunchy green beans.  What is up with that?!?  I know, I know, it's not hip to cook them until they're done.  I admit that I'm completely out of sync with such fads.

In my opinion, a short cooking time might work with skinny little beans, but the beans at hand were hearty, fresh-picked, full-grown specimens, and they would have been tough and undercooked if I'd followed the author's cooking method, which was 3 minutes in a water bath and three minutes in the skillet.  Jeffrey and I also were in agreement that the garlic was way too subtle, as was the oregano.  So here is our livelier, fully-cooked version:

Garlicky Green Beans with Tomato

1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 medium size tomatoes, chunked or about four handfuls of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teasoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
 sea salt to taste

1.  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans and simmer until they are cooked to your taste ( I check them after 15 minutes).  Drain.

2.  While the beans cook, chunk (or quarter) the tomatoes and finely chop the fresh oregano.

3.  Make sure everything is ready, this step goes quickly:   When the beans are cooked and drained, heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Add the green beans, tomato and oregano.  Cook just until the beans are heated through.

4. Season with lemon juice, pepper, and sprinkle of sea salt.  Serve immediately.

Cooking note:  I am a big fan of sea salt.  It seems like it dissolves differently, and just tastes better than plain table salt.  Try it, see what you think!


  1. Juli
    I agree, green beans need to be cooked 15 minutes unless they are really skinny. Have you tried Kosher salt instead of sea salt? Works well and is much less expensive.

  2. I'll have to try Kosher salt, thanks for the suggestion!