Green Beans and Tomatoes

27 Feb

green beans with sundried pesto2Our family was hit hard with the bug. Just like the mighty sequoias we had visited the week before, we went down in a huge way. Standing one moment, felled the next. One after another. It was urgent and devastating and all encompassing, but after we headed into recovery, we all had the same experience: Nothing tasted good. We craved little but water and tea. We checked in with our appetites and reviewed our greatest hits: Lasagna? Meh. Roasted chicken? So complicated. Salad? Forget about it, too much chewing. The one thing we had in common is that everything we tried tasted like cotton candy, cloying and sweet, even without the presence of sugar. The flavor note that finally struck for us was umami.

Umami is that distinct savory, earthy flavor that is found in glutamate-rich foods. We found that miso soup and avocado rolls survived our whacked-out palates, a soup of coconut broth, fish stock, bok choy and packaged potstickers,  and, surprisingly, this dish of roasted green beans, sundried tomato pesto and charred cherry tomatoes.

 

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Green Beans with Sundried Tomato Pesto and Charred Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half (about 3 cups)

Olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, drained of oil

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the green beans on a sheet pan evenly, and season generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, turning occasionally, until the green beans brown slightly and turn bright green, about 20 minutes. Green beans are ready when they are tender, but crisp.

On a separate sheet pan, spread the tomatoes on the pan evenly, and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the tomatoes start to char and pop, and the juices start to caramelize, about 30-40 minutes. Shake pan occasionally to redistribute tomatoes and char evenly.

In a food processor, mini prep processor or blender, combine the sundried tomatoes, garlic, thyme, balsamic vinegar along with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, gently combine the green beans, charred cherry tomatoes and sundried tomato pesto with a set of tongs. Taste for seasoning, place on a large platter and enjoy.

green beans with sundried pesto

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