Thursday, November 15, 2012
Mediterranean Braised Green Beans
I have eaten green beans and tomatoes before, but have not made them myself. According to Cook's Illustrated, where this recipe comes from, green beans cooked this way can take awhile to get tender, because tomatoes will slow down the cooking time because of their acidity. I have learned something new! I also learned that baking soda added to this dish causes an alkaline environment where the fibers of the beans will soften and become tender. That is your science lesson for today folks. And yes, the beans are delicious, very tender but they still hold their shape since they were slow braised in the oven. I did have quite a bit of sauce in the beans, so next time I may cook more beans than called for. These green beans are pretty enough for any ones table, (and they smell fantastic while cooking too). I'm not sure yet if I'm adding to my Thanksgiving table, but my husband gave them two thumbs up. Our kids look forward to my Green Beans Almondine every Thanksgiving, so we'll see. However, this dish is very company worthy, if you would like to try them.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated - serves 4-6
(I cut down the amount of olive oil from 5T. to 2T. And I totally forgot about stirring in chopped parsley before serving.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 14.5 ounce can small dice tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
red wine vinegar to taste
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees F.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven 0ver medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add water, baking soda, and green beans and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice, salt, and pepper.
5. Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened and green beans can be cut with the side of a fork, 40-50 minutes.
6. Add a splash of red wine vinegar, to taste, if desired. It does brighten the flavors some. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.
What's your favorite way to cook green beans?