Friday recipe: garlicky green beans and tomatoes

The weather in Iowa has been wonderful this week, our gladiolas and tiger lilies are bursting with color, the rose bush is ravishing and my spouse’s carrots and tomatoes are ready (NOM NOM!). The only sad fact of my life right now is his first planting of green beans is reaching the end of productivity, leaving us with a bag of those big overripe beans that SOMEONE didn’t harvest in time (guilty as charged).

Then I came across this luscious recipe that redeemed those beans. It’s delicious served hot or cold. Even the culinarily hard-to-please spouse, who put himself through college by working as a chef, told me I could serve him this dish any time. Next time he runs the vacuum and scrubs the tub, I will!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Garlicky green beans and tomatoes  

  • 1½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into approximately 2-inch lengths
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup thinly sliced garlic (about 10 cloves; use left if you’re a vampire)
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried mixed Italian herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook beans until just tender, about 3 minutes for skinny beans up to 5 minutes if you have the overripe kind.

Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Drain beans and add to water to cool, about 3 minutes. Drain again and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Turn down heat a bit and add tomatoes (being careful to prevent oil from spattering), pepper, herbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes have softened slightly, about 2 minutes.

Add broth or water and the beans and cook, stirring, until beans are heated through and well coated with garlic and tomatoes, 2 to 3 minutes. Leftovers kept in the fridge are even better the next day.

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