Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sauteed Green Beans with Balsamic Reduction

I may have cast some texture-related aspersions in the general direction of green beans awhile back, and feel compelled to clarify.


I have always loved green beans (since at least three or four days ago). Their texture is not squeaky (when made as follows) and they are completely addictive (when tossed with a balsamic reduction) and I love them (when they are not squeaky and when they are tossed with a balsamic reduction).

There. Now I can heap a good six servings of these on my plate without feeling quite so hypocritical.

Olive oil
1 clove garlic, slivered
2 big handfuls green beans*
Chicken broth
Balsamic vinegar
8-10 basil leaves, chiffonade
Freshly ground black pepper


Heat a glug of olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or so until it softens a bit, then add the green beans and a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Let the beans sit in the pan for a minute or two, then toss and let them sit again until they start to brown a little on at least one side.

Add a slosh of broth (start with a couple tablespoons or so -- just enough to create some steam) and cover the pan immediately. Let the beans steam for a couple of minute, then check them for tenderness and repeat if necessary.

When the beans are al dente, uncover the pan and boil off any remaining broth. Add about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the side of the pan and allow it to simmer for a few seconds until it starts to thicken, then turn off the heat and toss the beans to coat. About half the volume of the vinegar will steam off, leaving just the sweet reduction.

Add the basil and a little black pepper, toss to coat evenly, and serve.

Serves 2 as an easy side dish, and works well for broccoli, too (with or without the basil). You can also substitute white wine for the broth, which will give the dish just a hint of tartness instead of being sweet.

*Unless your hands are unreasonably large, in which case you should ask someone with reasonably-sized hands to measure for you. This is primarily directed at a certain oversized husband who tends to unintentionally double all my hand-based measurement approximations when left to his own devices.


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  2. I'm going to make this tonight, sounds fab!