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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Slow cooked green beans from the garden

Beans from the garden

I've been gone a while. Shipped the only child off to college (very successful). Traveled around the east coast visiting old friends (also very successful). Returned to a garden overrun with very large green beans. My house sitter wasn't very diligent about picking the beans and many of them got quite large. Like 8-12" long. Even stringless pole beans develop strings at this stage so either you chuck them onto the compost pile or you cook the heck out of them. I have never been a fan of undercooked green beans so cooking them to death (if done properly) does not bother me in the least.

This recipe is as easy as it gets.There is no reason to use small beans here; in fact, that would be a waste of small, tender beans which are best steamed and eaten with a little butter and salt. Save this method for overgrown beans from your garden or large supermarket beans.

This recipe is dedicated to Ronnie. I have many recipes for slow cooked beans and they all include lots of onions. Ronnie does not like onions. Trust me, slow cooked beans are just as good without the onions.

Slow-Cooked Beans
(serves 4)

1 pound large green beans (really big will work fine)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups peeled tomatoes (either canned or fresh)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups water

1. Wash green beans and remove stems. Cut large beans in half. Don't worry too much about strings because you will cook them long enough to dissolve these.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a cover.
3. Saute garlic until golden.
4. Add tomatoes and mash until large chunks break up.
5. Add green beans, oregano, salt, pepper and water. The quantity of water is dependent on how big the beans are. If they are not too big, use 1 cup. If they are really big and need to cook a long time, use 2 cups.
6. Bring to a brisk simmer and cover. Cook until beans are very tender, about 30 minutes.
7. Remove lid and continue to cook to evaporate most of the liquid.
8. Check seasoning and add more salt if necessary. A little drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil is nice too.

Link to PDF of recipe for Slow Cooked Beans (no onions)