2 pounds green beans, the smallest available
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
2 pounds cherry tomatoes, washed and if large, sliced in half
Salt and chili pepper flakes, to taste
Slices of grilled or roasted bread
Snap off both ends of the beans and wash under cold, running water. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add beans and cook, uncovered, until tender but still a bit firm to the bite, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on size. Drain and immediately plunge in a large bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking and maintain the green color. When cool, drain beans and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and anchovies, if using. Stir for about 1 minute and add tomatoes. Cook until juices of the tomatoes have thickened and tomatoes are soft and tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beans and season with salt and chili pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, just long enough for the beans to heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with a few slices of grilled bread.
Serves 6 to 8
Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
The combination of garlic, anchovies and hot pepper is typical of several Southern Italian regions. However, Sacramento chef Biba Caggiano advises that these ingredients be used with restraint. You can always add more if needed, but you can't take them out!