Green Beans with Grape Tomatoes
I found this recipe in my latest Cuisine at Home cooking magazine and adapted it a little for my family's tastes. I was a little concerned that my girls wouldn't enjoy them because of the garlic, but my 10 year old loved them.
Most of the time when I cook fresh string beans at home, I steam them and serve. It's quick and easy, but this recipe adds a whole bunch of incredible flavor. The cooking technique is to first blanch the beans, then saute the garlic and tomatoes and finish by combining all together.
Blanching vegetables before sauteing is a great technique and often done in professional kitchens. It adds another step but it's well worth it.
Grape tomatoes are now available everywhere and they seem to have a lot more flavor than hot house tomatoes. Normally I don't recommend fresh tomatoes when they are out of season, but I'm finding grape tomatoes are a great alternative. Use sea salt if you have it on your shelves.
String Beans with Sauteed Tomatoes & Garlic
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the beans for 4 to 5 minutes. I used a strainer to hold the string beans so I could just drop them in and pull them out. While the beans are blanching in the boiling water, add some ice to a bowl and fill three quarters with water.
- When the beans are done blanching, remove from boiling water and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. This is called "shocking," and will stop the cooking process and retain the color of the beans. Once the beans are cool, drain and reserve.
- Heat a saute pan big enough to hold all the string beans. Add the oil and when hot, saute the garlic and tomatoes over medium heat for 2 minutes, being sure not to burn the garlic. If the garlic does start to burn, remove it from the heat immediately while keeping the garlic moving in the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Add the string beans and stir together with the tomatoes and garlic. You are just trying to warm up the beans and combine flavors.
- Season with salt and serve.