Green Beans in Ginger-Tomato Sauce

Beans are substantial somehow, even as immature green pods. They have what it takes to stand up to a thick and lively sauce, and here’s one that’s particularly thick and lively. Earlier in the season I had been thinking I would use this sauce on snap peas, but I ultimately decided that they would have been overwhelmed, and it would have been a waste. A little butter and salt is all they need.

I sprinkled this with a few pumpkin seeds before serving, which I think was a mistake. We kept taking them for oddly tough pieces of bean. Next time, I would probably serve it with a dab of Turkish yogurt sauce (thick yogurt with a clove of garlic and a bit of salt) since the yogurt is already out, although they would also be just fine as they are. Rice or noodles are the obvious accompaniment to soak up that rich and tasty sauce, and some plainly grilled chicken or fish will finish the meal.

4 servings
30 minutes prep time

450 grams (1 pound) green beans
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup thick yogurt
2/3 cup tomato sauce

Wash and trim the green beans, and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Peel and grate the ginger and the garlic. Set the ginger and garlic aside in a small bowl with the salt and paprika.

Put a pot of water on to boil, for cooking the beans.

Heat the butter in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. When it sizzles, add the bowl of ginger, garlic, etc, and stir in well for about 1 minute. Then quickly add the yogurt and tomato sauce, and reduce the heat to medium. Let the sauce cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until thickened. Stir regularly.

Meanwhile, when the water boils, add the prepared beans and re-cover the pot. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until tender. Drain well and add to the sauce. Mix them in well, then let them simmer for just a few minutes, until the beans and sauce are very cosy with each other. Transfer them to a serving dish and serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Blueberry Cucumber Salad with Feta.

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