Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Green Beans/Carrots/Red Peppers/Onions/White Beans

Served at room temperature, this vegetable dish is versatile. Serve it over hot rice, with a wedge of fried polenta, or even a hunk of nice bread. As with so many salads, this improves after the first day. This is a variation on the Green beans dish in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I've substituted so many ingredients over the years, keeping the technique essentially the same. Don't have white beans? Try chickpeas. Don't have green beans? Try broccoli. The one thing I did was reduce the amount of olive oil because no vegetable dish needs 3/4 cup of olive oil. Fine, maybe eggplant, but otherwise...

You Will Need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large, mild onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 carrots (more or less) cut into thick match sticks
1 large sweet red pepper, cut in thick matchsticks
(about) 4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped(tinned are OK if you make this out of season)
4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of ground cloves
1 stem fresh parsley
1 tin white beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup water
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed under cold water and drained
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and then add the carrots and onions. Cook about five minutes over medium heat just until the onions soften-you don't want them browned. Add pepper, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, salt/pepper, cloves, and parsley. Add beans and water. Cook, uncovered for ten minutes over a low simmer. Meanwhile, blanch the beans.
Add green beans, and cover the pot. Cook another twenty minutes, or until green beans are tender and liquid has mostly evaporated. If you still have more than 1/2 a cup liquid, remove with a slotted spoon the vegetables to a bowl, then turn up the heat and reduce the liquid until you have no more than 1/4 cup. Pour it over the vegetables.

This is best served slightly warm, or at room temperature.

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