Monday, July 11, 2011

Bright, Quick & Easy Caprese and Garlicky Green Beans

Hello! I have not run away OR stopped cooking, just have had house guests and been running ragged entertaining, etc. However, it does mean that I have made some good things and dined out a few times, so you will reap the benefits in the end.

First up, this quick (yet so pretty!) veggie side of Caprese salad and lightly roasted green beans. The genesis of this was my not having bought as many fresh green beans as I thought...and then needing to 'stretch' the veggie component of our meal further. So I noticed some ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and of course my flourishing basil window...and Caprese salad (which is just a combination of those three things plus balsamic vinegar and perhaps olive oil) sprang to mind.

My spices that I struggle to keep alive!
First I needed to make my green beans, so I got a deep saucepan VERY hot and then added olive oil, crushed garlic (a healthy amount here, say at least 2-3 cloves, if not  more) and let the two cook together for a few minutes. Then I toss the green beans in (note: after trimming and rinsing the beans, I squeeze half a lemon over them and let them sit) and let them sizzle away. Just remember to keep tossing them around with tongs and making sure the oil and garlic mixture is fully covering every bean. You don't want to cook them for longer than five to seven minutes at high heat since you want them crispy. If you do need to stall for the main dish, just turn the heat to low - but don't cover the pan. That is a sure way to soften the beans. I also added in some sundried tomatoes, dry ones from a bag, not the oil in a jar kind. I tossed them in the last two minutes with the beans so they were still flavorful and chewy.

In the meantime, I began to arrange my Caprese stacks; slice of tomato, then a basil leaf (no need to tear/chop them and oh yeah, NO jar basil allowed for this!), then the slice of fresh mozzarella. Cover with drizzled balsamic and fresh cracked pepper.

Arrange artfully and enjoy!

- Melissa

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! The only problem is that your picture makes it clear the dish is too pretty to eat!


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