Sunday, August 11, 2013

Green Beans with Sun Gold Tomatoes, Shallots, and Olives

When I was up in Portland this past Spring, I had a chance to hang out a few times at one of my favorite spots in the world - Powell's Books. The culinary books take up about 5 rows in the store's Orange section and it was there that I came upon the latest offering from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Deborah Madison, titled Vegetable Literacy. A friend remarked that it looked like a coffee table book as it is a large hardcover filled with amazingly gorgeous photos but I couldn't resist getting it anyway. And I'm very glad I did! As beautiful the presentations are, the recipes are proving to be even better. This is one that I've put into the rotation already.

The original recipe called for haricot verts or rattlesnake beans but I used what I had in hand, namely a combination of various green beans that have been busting out of our garden this summer.

Sungold tomatoes fresh from our garden

A mix of green bean varieties also from our garden

shallots steeping in vinegar

a quick parboil of the beans

Kalamari olives

drying the cooked beans

olives minced with the garlic

emulsification of the shallot vinegar with olive oil


Ingredients:
12 ounces fresh green beans
1 shallot, sliced crosswise into rings
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
10-15 Kalamata olives, pitted
2-3 cloves medium garlic, peeled
12-20 small cherry tomatoes
salt
fresh ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
several basil leaves, torn

Directions:
Add the sliced shallots to a small bowl with the vinegar, allowing them to steep while handling the other preparations. Mince the pitted olives with the peeled garlic. Slice the tomatoes in half or in quarters depending on the size of each one.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the beans until just beginning to become tender, about 1-5 minutes, depending upon how fresh the beans are. Drain, then allow to dry on paper towels.

When the beans are dry, put them in a large bowl and combine with the minced olives and garlic, seasoning with the salt and pepper to taste. Remove the shallots from the bowl and set aside. Add the olive oil to the vinegar remaining in the bowl and whisk to emulsify. Pour the dressing over the beans, then scatter the shallot rings over the top. Add the tomatoes and the basil and use your hands to mix everything together.
This can be served hot or at room temperature.