This dish comes together quickly if you have some soffrito on hand in the freezer. If your soffrito is frozen, get it out and defrost it while cutting the beans.
10 – 12 ounces flat green beans such as Scarlet Runners or Romano
1/4 – 1/3 cup soffrito
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and de-germed, minced
Olive oil as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 juicy lemon
Defrost the soffrito if necessary.
Trim the beans and cut diagonally into 1 inch slices.
While you are cutting the beans, heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. When the beans are sliced and the soffrito is defrosted, turn up the heat under the pan to medium-high.
When the pan is hot, film the pan generously with oil. As soon as it is hot, add the beans and toss to coat the beans with oil. Cook, tossing occasionally, to brown the beans in places and soften them.
After five minutes, try a piece of bean. It should be getting tender and have lost its raw edge. IF not, cook two minutes more and try again.
When the beans are getting tender, add the soffrito and toss to mix in. Season with salt and pepper, and add the garlic. Toss again.
When the soffrito is heated through, squeeze the lemon over the vegetables and then taste for seasoning. The beans should still have a little crunch, but be tender and flavorful.
Chef’s Notes and Tips:
You can cut the beans into smaller slices and they will cook faster. They might cook through before caramelizing, however. As you get familiar with this technique, you can turn up the heat and cook it faster. Keep some liquid handy to pour in if the pan seems too hot and the beans are scorching rather than browning. You could vary the dish by adding in some diced bell peppers, which will cook in the same amount of time as the beans. You could add a shot of white wine to the pan to flavor the beans, or use wine in lieu of the lemon. Try scattering in a 1/4 cup of sliced oil cured olives with the soffrito to add a nice depth to the dish.
YIELD: Serves 4
SOURCE: Chef Andrew E Cohen