Sunday, September 29, 2013

green beans with garlicky tomato concassé

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green beans with garlicky tomato concassé
from Laura Calder

4 large tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
 3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
675 g. (1 1/2 lbs) green beans, trimmed

First, set about peeling the tomatoes. Bring a pot of water to boil. Mark a small X on the tomato bottoms and drop them into the simmering water. Leave in for 10 seconds to 1 minute to loosen the skin. Use a slotted spoon to take the tomatoes out and set the tomato water aside. Place the tomatoes in ice-cold water so they stop cooking and you can work with them sooner.

When they're cool enough, peel the tomatoes. Make thick slices and push out the seeds. Set the seeds aside to use for something else.* Chop the tomato flesh until it's a pulp.

Put a large frying pan over medium heat and heat the oil. Cook the garlic gently for up to one minute; don't let it colour. Stir in the tomato pulp, sugar, balsamic vinegar and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until it becomes a thick sauce, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Set the tomato water over the heat again and salt it. Once it's boiling, cook the green beans until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and put them in an ice-water bath to stop further cooking. Drain again.

Stir the beans into the tomato concassé and gently heat through. Serve.

* I like to put the juicy tomato seeds in a small bowl, season it with salt and pepper, and eat it like a fancy appetizer.

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