There are some vegetable dishes I make or eat that blow me away, and it's not because I'm that good. It's because the vegetables are that good, especially when simply prepared in a way that lets flavors just shine. Flavors blend and create this flavor show in your mouth that make your eyes roll and your head tilt slightly back at the impact of delicious flavor. Some vegetables, even when not in season, deliver that kitchen-cred wow factor when you saute them in garlic and olive oil, which is exactly what I did with these tomatoes and green beans.
I am a frequent and devoted shopper at Aldi stores. They sell produce at a much lower price than competitors, and while I've gotten some duds (talking to you, organic baby carrots), I've overall been very pleased with the items I've bought. They had these green beans and tomatoes for a good price, and I sort of remembered seeing some cooking shows that blanched green beans and then sauteed them with garlic and oil. I got the idea to add the tomatoes, and had a great side dish.
Sauteed Green Beans and Tomatoes
1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed of ends
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if you want the cooking to be quicker
2 Tb olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Blanch your green beans: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. To the side, partially fill a large bowl with ice water. Throw in the green beans, boil for 1-2 minutes. Using a sieve, spider, or tongs, quickly remove the green beans to the bowl of ice water. Allow them to cool for a minute or so in the water and remove to a colander or paper towel lined plate to drain the water.
In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium-low. Add your oil, and when it's warmed, add the garlic. Allow the garlic to infuse into the oil, being careful not to let the garlic turn brown. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add your tomatoes, cooking until they start to wilt a bit, about 2-3 minutes. Add the green beans and saute the tomatoes and green beans until softened (green beans will still retain some of their firmness), about 1 minute. Serve.
- Blanching the green beans makes them a more vibrant green and helps bring out some flavor. You can skip this step if you're feeling lazy.
- Times and stove temperatures are relative to your stove. I tend to feel like my stove runs hot, so I am either usually at lower temperatures than a lot of recipes suggest or shorter times. Your stove may be different
- I used a 12 inch skillet. It's wonderful for sauteing!