(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites. When the garden starts exploding with green beans, this is one of my favorite ways to use them.)
Although I love having a garden where I can grow a lot of my own vegetables, keeping up with garden vegetables can be a challenge, and if you're not diligent vegetables quickly grow too big. Green beans are the plant I have the hardest time with; they come on so quickly that often when I pick them I find a bunch of over-sized green beans.
If you have garden where the beans sometimes get a little too big, this recipe for Braised Green Beans Recipe with Garlic, Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers is a good method for making larger beans tender. (I'm mentioning that as a public service announcement, since I tried this recipe before I even had beans in my garden and the pictures in these photos are thin green beans from Costco!)
Trim the end of one pound of fresh green beans. (You can snap off the ends, but I trim by standing up a handful of beans in my hand, then laying them down and cutting off the ends. Then repeat with the other end.)
Mince 2 tsp. fresh garlic, measure capers, and coarsely chop 8 Kalamata olives.
Heat 1 T olive oil in a heavy skillet, saute garlic, then add beans and toss to coat with hot oil.
Add canned tomatoes and juice, Kalamata olives, capers, and water and bring beans to a simmer. Cook on low for 20 minutes, or until beans are tender.
Remove lid, increase heat a little and cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Serve hot, sprinkled with thinly sliced fresh basil if desired. (Next time I wouldn't bother with the basil.)
Braised Green Beans with Garlic, Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop, one of my most well-used cookbooks.)
1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1 T olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (I used petite dice tomatoes)
8-10 Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 T capers (next time I might use 2 T)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. thinly sliced fresh basil (optional, I probably wouldn't bother with the basil next time)
Trim or cut ends from greens beans. (I do this by standing up a handful of beans, letting them fall down to the cutting board so ends are lined up, then trimming across the end with a knife; repeat with the other end.) Coarsely chop the Kalamata olives and mince the garlic.
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet with a lid, using medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook about 1 minute, just until the garlic is getting fragrant. Add the beans and stir until beans are all coated with the hot oil.
Add the canned tomatoes with juice, chopped Kalamata olives, capers, and 2 T water. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until beans are just starting to get tender. I checked them and stirred a few times. (If you have bigger beans, they will take a little longer to cook.)
When beans are barely tender, remove lid, raise heat to medium, and cook cook until any remaining liquid is evaporated, probably not longer than a minute or two. (Add the thinly sliced fresh basil now if you're using it.) Season beans with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and serve hot.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
Green beans cooked like this are a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any type of low-carb eating plan, including Paleo. These beans would be great with Very Greek Grilled Chicken for a low-carb and Paleo meal.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Ideas for Fresh Green Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Lemony Green Beans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Green Beans with Ginger and Garlic from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted Green Beans with Mushroom, Balsamic, and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Beans with Garam Masala Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts from Steamy Kitchen
World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry from Kalyn's Kitchen
Fresh Green Beans, One Way from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Balsamic Roasted Green Beans from Sarah's Cucina Bella
Braised Green Beans with Lemon from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Zoe's Green Beans (Fasolakia) from Mama's Taverna
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)