It hasn't been that spring-like around here, but I feel myself gravitating towards lighter tastes and flavors anyway. Yet as far as meals go, the air temperature and persistence of snow on the ground, still makes me yearn for the warm and comforting. This one-pot wonder totally balances everything out. It's full of the crunch of fresh veggies but they're coated in a warm, delicate, oniony-tomato broth that equally satisfies my spring cravings with the need to maintain an adequate body temperature!!
Are you familiar with gigante beans, or butter beans, as they're more familiarly known. I have to admit that I never cooked with them before. They're large, soft and well...buttery, at least in terms of their consistency--a perfect foil here for the crunch of the green beans and the acidity of the tomatoes and onions.
This could totally be served as a side dish or for lunch, but works really well too, as a main course with a piece of crusty bread for sopping up all the juices. And it's really easy to make. First you blanch a pile of green beans.
Then in a large skillet, you saute onion and garlic, adding the tomatoes in the process, allowing them to break apart a bit.
Next you add in both beans and allow everything to get warm and coated with the tomatoey broth before transferring to bowls and topping with fresh black pepper and crumbled feta.
It's a meal that will leave you feeling light, refreshed and yet warm all over--healthy but still a bit indulgent. Now if you could only keep your hand out of that cookie jar...
Green Beans with Tomatoes, Onions, Butter Beans and Feta
Prep Time: 20 minutes
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 pound tomatoes, chopped roughly
15.5 oz. can Gigantes or butter beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath and place next to the pot. Cook green beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until crisp-tender and bright green. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the ice bath. Let cool, then drain and dry them. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, just to soften, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and cook until they break down and release their juices, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the butter beans and green beans and cook until everything is coated in the tomato broth and warm throughout. Transfer to bowls. Sprinkle with fresh black pepper and crumble the feta on top. Serve immediately, preferably with a loaf of crusty bread.
Note: Recipe adapted from Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, by Sarah Copeland.