Wednesday, October 12, 2011
If you're still craving early fall foods like tomatoes, but if your tomato stash is looking a little less like the height of ripeness, applying heat always works wonders. I completely agree with avoiding those horrible, watery, grocery store tomatoes, but I don't think we're quite there yet. So even if we're on the tail end, there a things we can still do to make tomatoes worth our while.
Appropriately, this recipe started out as Richard Olney's Sautéed Haricots Verts from his canonical Simple French Food. But changes, as they say, were made. For one thing, among all the dozens of jars of herbs and spices I've accumulated at home in NYC, oregano never made it onto my spice shelf, for some reason. So a mixture of basil and thyme went in for the oregano, and I changed the cooking order and method a bit. For one thing, I don't believe in peeling and seeding tomatoes because I am lazy. So I didn't, electing to cook them down for a bit longer than called for to allow the extra juice to reduce.
As a result, the tomatoes were added in earlier than called for, and before the beans, which just get their finish in the pan, having been previously blanched in a pot of boiling water. To make this more of a meal, next time I'd brown some potato slices in oil and add them into the mix at the last moment, along with the beans.
Sautéed Haricots Verts
Adapted from Richard Olney's Simple French Food
1 large sweet onion, chopped
oil for the pan
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of chopped parsley
Parboil the beans for about 8-10 minutes (depending on how crunchy you like them, but they should still be a bit firm), drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking
Heat some oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook the onions gently until they're soft but not browned, about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the tomatoes with the butter a pinch of salt, and the basil and thyme for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the onions and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the juices have partly evaporated and thickened.
Add the beans to the onions, season with salt and increase the heat to medium. Toss regularly for about 10-5 minutes, until everything is warmed through and the juices are thick. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a sprinkling of the rest of the parsley over the top.