Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ramshackle Creations: String Bean and Tomato Sautee

Ta da! Hooray for the first significant produce from our garden! Today we decided to pick a double handful of the string beans that have been weighing my poor plants down. We have gotten a few things out of the garden already - some snap peas, green onions, herbs - but this was the first that could make its own (small) dish.

What does one do with a handful of string beans? I'm not really a big string bean fan - I hate when they're just boiled - so I wanted to try something different. We also had half a carton of grape tomatoes languishing in the fridge, along with half a lemon, so I thought they could join the party.

This is hardly the most elegant dish in the world, but it was quite flavorful and satisfying. I am not generally good at freestyling in the kitchen - I can follow a recipe to the letter, but my own creations aren't stellar. This time, though, I think I've found the makings of a winner. The tomatoes and lemon juice paired especially well - the lemon lent some extra flavor to the tomatoes and also helped them start breaking down in to a bit of a sauce, which was nice. Since I have plenty of string beans and little tomatoes growing in my garden, I think I'll be doing this dish often this summer!

String Bean and Tomato Sautee
From me! (Hence the vague directions)

a handful of string beans
a handful of tomatoes, sliced (I halved grape tomatoes, but I think a chopped plum tomato would be nice as well)
enough olive oil to coat the pan
juice from half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Toss in the string beans and sautee for 4-5 minutes (if you blanch them first, which I might try if I had more beans, this step doesn't need to be as long).

Add the tomatoes and sautee another 1-2 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir well. Cover the pan and let simmer for another 2 minutes, until the tomatoes and lemon juice begin to form a bit of a sauce. (Test your string beans for doneness - if they're too hard, keep them covered a bit longer.) Enjoy!

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