A few years ago, I picked up a copy of “All About Braising” by Molly Stevens because I wanted to do more braising recipes for guests as they can be done in advance with minimal work prior to plating. I love this book and have cooked from it many times for dinner parties. Her recipes are straightforward, elegant and delicious.
I wanted to use some ripe tomatoes from my garden for a veggie side for a recent menu so I came across her “End-of-Summer Green Beans Braised with Tomatoes”. I was a little bit worried about the inclusion of anchovies, as my husband doesn’t eat anything “fishy”, but he gave the go-ahead. I adapted it slightly by using anchovy paste, but it added a rich taste to this really healthy, vegetable-heavy dish. I think this will be one we revisit in the winter months, even when green beans or tomatoes are not at their peak as the dish will still be flavorful. I made a slightly larger amount and made a couple changes, so my adapted recipe is below.
Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 pound green beans, tops and ends snipped off
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, chopped or a 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 3/4 water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute gently about 2 minutes, just until the edges turn slightly golden, but do not let brown. Add the anchovy paste and oregano, saute for 1 minute. Add the green beans and stir to coat them with the oil and seasonings. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the water and add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind the saltiness of the anchovies.
Cover and lower the heat to a very gentle simmer, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure the pan isn’t simmering too high. Braise the beans for about 1 hour, until the beans are soft, but not split open. When the beans are done, remove the lid, and if the beans are swimming in braising liquid, turn the heat up high and boil for 3-4 minutes to reduce the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately.