Friday, August 10, 2012

Recipe for Braised Green Beans with Garlic, Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers

Braised Green Beans with Garlic, Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers
Delicious fresh green beans braised with garlic, tomatoes, olives, and capers.

(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 beans are braised with garlic, tomatoes, olives, capers, and a little water 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.)

Ingredients:
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)

Instructions:
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.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Green beans cooked like this are a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any type of low-glycemic eating plan.

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
Roasted Green Beans with Mushroom, Balsamic, and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
World's Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
A Summerfest of Green Bean Ideas from The Cooking Channel
Spicy Green Beans with Ginger and Garlic from The Perfect Pantry
Fresh Green Beans, One Way from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Balsamic Roasted Green Beans from Sarah's Cucina Bella
Green Beans with Garam Masala Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts from Steamy Kitchen
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.)counter customizable free hit

31 comments:

  1. oh yum! So many great flavors! This reminds me of a dish my mom used to make, but hers was just the beans and tomatoes. This dish brings it to a whole new level! ;) Brava!

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  2. Chris, that's a fun memory. There is a Greek dish called Fasolakia that's kind of similar to this (but it's cooked much longer and uses fresh tomatoes, also sometimes has potatoes.)

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  3. I can't wait to try this! I want to try your carrots with mint this week, so maybe next week I can try these green beans.

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  4. Brenda, I love that carrot salad! Have fun with it. Loved these beans too.

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  5. I love all the colors working together in this dish. Beans always seem a bit bland to me; the olives and capers are a great way to perk them up.

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  6. Lydia, I did love the flavor combination here. Definitely not bland with the tomatoes, olives, and capers!

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  7. I'm not much of a beans person but I love the combination you've put together… anything with capers works for me! :)

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  8. I bet that this would be GREAT alongside a nice pork chop! I don't have a garden but I'm always looking for new veggie recipes! Yum.

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  9. The Housewife, thanks, I think the combo of Kalamata olives and capers really flavor the beans here.

    Joanne, me too. This was a keeper.

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  10. I've never tried braising green beans but these sound so delicious!

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  11. This sounds like the perfect summer side dish! Yum!

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  12. Maris and Dana, thanks; these beans were fantastic (if I do say so myself!)

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  13. I make a similar dish, but use only onion and lots of sliced garlic with the beans (DH doesn't like olives or capers) and one can of stewed Italian flavoured tomatoes. It's really delicious and tasty.

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  14. Elaine, I think this would be great with just garlic and onion, maybe even red onion?

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  15. Caper and olives make my world go round. This is a really nice way to dress up green beans and I like your tip for tenderizing large green beans.

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  16. Mouth watering!
    I m a big time lover of tomatoes & green beans & this combo is just too good!

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  17. I too have trouble keeping up with the garden harvest. All those seeds are so little in May. By August I'm scrambling to harvest.
    Thanks for the new way to cook green beans. Doubtful about the capers, but love the olives!

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  18. Dara I am with you on the capers and olives! I love them in everything.

    SinfullySpicy, thanks! I really liked the blend of flavors here.

    Christie, just put a few more olives and skip the capers, no worries!

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  19. this green beans looks yummy, i love your recipes

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  20. Ayla, thanks! Glad you are enjoying the blog.

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  21. I'm up to my eyeballs in green beans and am so happy to find this recipe! I thought I'd about exhausted every way to cook beans, but this one looks fabulous! Thank you!

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  22. Patrice, glad I can help with your green bean surplus! (Still growing like crazy here too!)

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  23. Thanks for the enlightenment ....i think i can now make this on my own.

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  24. Olusola, have fun! Just check it a few times while it's cooking, otherwise simple to make.

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  25. This looks really delicious - a great combination of flavours. :)

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  26. Janet, so glad you liked it!

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  27. Wow - GREAT flavor!! I used a whole bulb of garlic, though. :-) As I always do! I'll use up some onions as one of your posts considered.

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  28. Oh yes, more garlic is always good!

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  29. Green beans are some of my favorite vegetables--and this combination with super-flavorful olives and tomatoes sounds perfect for late summer! Hooray!

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  30. That really looks like comfort food to me, and I wish I had it right now - only I'm just too tired to lift a finger to make anything.

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