Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Braised Green Beans with Onion, Garlic & Basil

We have a bumper crop of green beans this year.  Aside from the usual bush beans that I grow, I also planted these beauties.  (Read more about them in The Garden section of my blog)  They’re very prolific and I grew board with just eating them steamed.  Braising is my new favorite way to cook beans.  It’s simple and quick, and produces a very tasty side dish.  Some days, I turn this into a main dish by adding cut up soy sausage and a little crumbled feta.
I used these beautiful rattlesnake beans but you can use any type of green beans available in your area.
I start by trimming off the stem side of the beans.  (Check out that one bean, it’s almost entirely purple)

Here are the other ingredients that you’ll need.  Some red onion, garlic, fresh basil and a lemon.

The thing with braising is that you need to get the frying pan really hot.  Don’t be afraid, they won’t burn, but you need to stay close and toss them every 30 seconds or so.  I like to prepare the other ingredients first so every thing is right there and ready when you need it.  
Braised Green Beans
Serves 4 as a side dish- Use organic ingredients whenever possible
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
12 fresh basil leaves
1 lb. green beans
2 teaspoons sunflower oil (or other heat tolerant oil-not olive)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 lemon
A couple pinches of salt
Optional garnish: feta cheese
Slice your onion and mince your garlic.
Chiffonade the basil leaves.
Trim the beans.
Measure out a 1/4 cup of wine.
Put a large frying pan over a medium high heat.
Add the oil and swirl it so it covers the bottom of the pan completely.
When the oil is hot and not yet smoking, add the beans.
Toss them (wooden salad servers work well for this) every 30 seconds for a total of 5 minutes.
Add the wine (carefully, so it doesn’t jump back at you) and cover immediately.
Turn the heat down to medium.
Cook the covered beans for 2 minutes.
Remove the cover and add the onions and garlic.  
Cook for another minute or so, until the wine is completely cooked off.
Turn off the heat. 
Sprinkle with salt and squeeze the lemon over the beans.
Garnish with feta if desired.

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