These beans are a cinch to make yet they’re loaded with complex flavor. The tomatoes, onions and garlic cook down slowly, together in the pan, while the beans steam on top. You may be tempted to stop cooking before the beans turn olive green. Resist. Crisp, bright-colored, barely-cooked beans aren’t the only way to go. So keep on cooking, you’ll be rewarded if you do.
Serves 6 as a side dish
- 1 pound green beans (or other string beans)
- Olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large tomato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about one heaping cup)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Remove stems from the beans—either by cutting with a knife, or snapping them off in your hands. Snap the beans in half. Rinse and set aside.
- Warm about one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s soft and beginning to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, oregano, tomato and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt plus some freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the green beans to the pan, stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover from the pan, stir and continue to cook until tomato juices have mostly cooked off and tomatoes are a deep red color (10 to 15 minutes). The beans will begin to soften and look less bright in color (more olive green). You may feel like you’ve overdone them, but resist the temptation to turn off the heat. Cooking to this point is essential to develop the deep flavors in this dish. The beans retain their crisp texture, though they may look overcooked. And the flavors are sensational.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, as necessary before serving.