Green beans like to hang around, and I like that they like to hang around. Long after the corn and tomatoes and eggplant have departed from farmers market stalls, the piles of green beans remain, along with their cousins, flat-pod romano beans.
In summer, I barely cook green beans, steaming them just until they are emerald green and crisp, and tossing them with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. But at this time of year, the beans tend to be more mature and not quite so tender. That’s when I switch to braising.
Romano beans are especially good cooked slowly in tomato sauce. In Italy, tomato-braised green beans are a classic side dish known as fagiolini all’uccelletto—which essentially translates to ‘beans cooked in the style of game birds.’ Simmered slowly, over low heat, in a savory tomato sauce, the beans lose their toughness but retain their meaty texture and earthy flavor.
This week’s Family Dish features a recipe for tomato-braised romano beans spiked with a little chile pepper. To read the entire post and get the recipe, head to The Washington Post’s All We Can Eat blog. Buon Appetito!