Thursday, 23 August 2007

Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

Versions of this dish are found all around the Mediterranean, as well as in many other places. I ate quite a lot of it last summer, when we were in Spain for several months. Strangely, we found Spanish food rather lacking in vegetables, so whenever I found these on the menu I nabbed them. Mine are not exactly like any I had - less overcooked, for one thing - but definitely inspired by those dishes of judias verdes. I'm classifying this as a side dish, although we are inclined to serve these over brown rice and call it supper.

If you can find the broad (Romano) green (or yellow) beans, do use them. They are perfect for this. I used a combo of the two. Edit: I'm contributing this to Fresh Produce of the Month at An Italian in the US. Check it out - there will be lots of fresh tomato recipes.

2 to 4 servings
45 minutes - 20 minutes prep time

Green Beans in Tomato Sauce1 large onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large plum tomatoes
500 grams (1 pound plus) green beans
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon sweet Spanish or Hungarian paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Peel the onion and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into thin half-moon slices. Peel and slice the garlic. Blanch the tomatoes, and chop them coarsely. Wash and trim the beans, and slice them, also fairly coarsely.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them for 6 or 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until well cooked down and showing some signs of browning. Add the garlic, and stir for a minute or two, until fragrant but not browned. Add the chopped tomatoes.

Meanwhile, boil the prepared beans for about 5 minutes.

Add the seasonings to the onion and tomato mixture. Add the drained green beans. I move them to the sauce with a slotted spoon, so I can save the cooking water to moisten the beans if necessary. It's a good idea to add a little splash right at the start.

Cover the pot, but leave a gap for steam to escape. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the beans are quite tender - they should be cooked longer than normal, but not so long that they get soggy. If you don't have the broad beans though, they may not take quite 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, and add a little of the bean cooking water if the beans look in danger of getting dry enough to scorch. Don't add too much. Remove the bay leaf before serving.


Unknown said...

This sounds nice and summery. I will have to look for some good paprika so that I can try it.

chemcookit said...

Wow, this looks delicious! It's the type of food I like best... vegetables, by themselves or with rice, in the right season.. What could one ask more? :)
Thank you so much for taking part to the event! And congratulations for your great blog.