By Carolyn Doyle
Roasted, quickly sautéed or maybe steamed tender-crisp – early-season green beans are easy to prepare. But this time of year, the beans from your garden or at the farm markets are likely to be of the more mature variety. Braising is the way to get maximum flavor and tenderness out of these tougher specimens, whether you use green, Italian or wax beans (or a mixture).
The classic green bean braise I grew up with includes ham and small red potatoes. But my version comes by its Hoosier heritage honestly: corn and tomatoes bring sweetness and flavor, turning late-season beans into a stellar side dish.
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Hoosier Green Bean Braise
Makes 6-8 servings
1 pound green beans, tops removed (about 5 cups)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 2/3 cup)
2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 ¼ cups)
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are good)
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces, if desired. Heat the oil in a wide 4-quart pot until shimmering; add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until browned.
Stir in the beans; cook 1-2 minutes. Add the corn and garlic; cook just until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook 30-40 minutes, until beans are tender. (Normally the vegetables create enough liquid for this braise; if the mixture looks very dry at any point, add a little water.)