This green bean dish is one that has been stuck in my head for months. I'm not exactly sure why it is that every once in a great while I will read a totally random recipe that doesn't even involve any of my favorite ingredients and it will just get stuck in my head. I like green beans, I like tomatoes and I like the sound of garlic bread crumbs, but I honestly have no idea why this particular recipe spoke to me. Andrea Reusing serves the green beans with her fried chicken, but we went ahead and served it with a variation on our Spicy "Fried" Chicken Cutlets. I say it was a variation because we used that same buttermilk and Tabasco marinade, but we marinated it for 8 hours instead of 1-2 hours (which I highly recommend if you have the time), crusted it with a mixture of cornmeal and panko without any cheese, mustard or herbs, and then pan-sauteed it rather than baking it in the oven. I enjoyed this green bean salad - it was summery, tasty and fresh, perfect picnic fare. Alex thought it required a few too many steps (particularly making the garlic bread crumbs), but said that if you had the bread crumbs already made that it would be worth making the dish again. I think even without the pre-made bread crumbs it would be worth making again. You would just need to find a use for the rest of the bread crumbs - which shouldn't be hard to do. I would recommend using some of the remaining toasted bread to make the Italian-Style Bread Crumbs posted with this recipe, which keep for quite awhile and are totally delicious. I think that would make it worthwhile. Alternatively, if you already have some of those Italian-Style Bread Crumbs or other homemade bread crumbs at home, go ahead and use them.
Recipe after the jump!
Green Beans (and Wax Beans) with Garlic Bread Crumbs and Tomatoes
Adapted from Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes
By Andrea Reusing
1/2 small loaf of day old Pugliese bread
1 pint cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp evoo
1 lb mix of green and wax beans, trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Remove the crust from the bread, tear it into 2 to 3-inch chunks, and scatter on a baking sheet. Bake until outside is firm and crusty but not browned and the inside is still soft, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes wit 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp evoo in a large non-reactive mixing bowl. Set aside.
Tear the cooled bread into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces. Measure out 1 cup and reserve the rest for another use. Put the bread crumbs in a small skillet and toast over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Blanch the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain and add the green beans to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes. Toss, seasoning with s&p.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp evoo in the same small skillet that you toasted the bread crumbs in over medium heat. Add garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to turn golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Quickly add bread crumbs and toss to combine. Sprinkle bread crumbs over green bean mixture.