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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meatless Tuesday: Quick and Easy Stovetop Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic

Bloggers have to take vacation sometimes, too, right?  Thanks for bearing with me during the day of radio silence.  Truthfully I was doing everything but relaxing, and now my head is back in work and I'm sure yours is, too.
Today I'm going to show you how to throw together a few things from the garden into an easy light side dish for any summer dinner.
I started by gathering bits from the backyard plots.  I go out there every day, so most of my harvests are small.  I came up with a few beans, some tomatoes, kale, lettuce, and four lemon cucumbers.  I combined some of this with the garlic I harvested a while ago that is done curing in the basement.
Stovetop Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic

It's hard to call this a recipe, so try to think of it more as a technique.
The amounts here are per person, so I doubled this for the two of us.

1 handful green beans, ends snapped off
1/4-1/2 small onion, chopped
1 handful cherry tomatoes, whole
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
any herbs you like (chives would be great, so would basil)
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 beer or wine (you can substitute water or stock)

Most of the tomatoes we used were lemon drops, a great little cherry tomato that came in early and has been really productive.  We will grow these again next year for sure.
You need to use a pan with a heavy bottom that has a lid.  Begin with your pan over medium high heat.  Add your onion and season well with salt and pepper.

Let the onions cook until they start to brown and soften, 2-3 minutes.  Add your green beans. 
Once they've just started to brown and soften, add your whole tomatoes and garlic.  Season again with salt and pepper.
Continue cooking until your tomatoes burst and everything gets even more brown, another 2-5 minutes.  Good brown bits should be building up on the bottom of your pan.  At this point, use a splash of beer or wine (approximately 1/4 c.) to deglaze the pan.  Scrape up all the brown stuff and cover your pain until the beans are bright green but still have a good snap to them.  For this batch of thicker pole beans, it took 2 minutes.  
Remove the lid and reduce any liquid that's left until it makes a thick glaze coating all your vegetables.  This is the time to add any freshly chopped herbs you have.
When it's done the onions and garlic should be caramelized, the beans tender, and the tomatoes bursting and sweet.
Serve it with something simple.
We've had it twice in the last couple weeks with these mini BLTs because frankly, that's what we should all be eating right now.
So, what was I doing this long weekend when I wasn't here blogging for you?
Growing this big ol' baby, first of all.
In anticipation of her arrival (she's due in ONE MONTH!) we bought a nice point and shoot camera that also does video.  We also worked on getting the kitchen ready by painting, replacing the floor, and installing under cabinet lighting.  Ma and Pa came over to help, and so did Ceci who is loving homemade yogurt and raspberry jam from the backyard.  Can you believe she's almost a year old?
Nana tiled her butt off.  Her sewing expertise really came in handy!
We goofed around with the features on the new camera and Tim shot this panorama of the progress.  Lookin' good in there!  

I'm off to preserve some tomatoes by making a delicious sauce that I can't wait to tell you about.  Until next time, enjoy the weather and try to relax a little!

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