Beans with Caramelized Onions

I have certain web surfing rituals.

Each morning, if I have time, I quickly check The Morning News for its quirky collection of news from various US newspapers. On Sundays, I visit the New York Times and read the Modern Love column and the Ethicist. (Okay, yes, I read the Vows section too; it’s a bit of a secret shame really. But I do love reading how these people met and how their lives have come to be intertwined. And, uh, I judge the dresses.)

And on Wednesdays, I check in with the New York Times Dining & Wine section where I read through great stories, get inspired by recipes and print out my fair share to try at home.

But, of all the recipes I have printed from there in the last year, very few have actually been translated into food on the table.

That is until I read a recent article about green beans (which I love) that I knew I had to try immediately. And, what serendipity! I already had a nice package of green beans from the Farmer’s Market sitting in my fridge. Must have been food fate.

I am now in love with this recipe. The softened tomatoes, the beans and the sweet onions with the tang of herbs….

Of course, I had to make a few changes. The recipe suggests adding water when the liquid evaporates. Um, no. I’ll add some more wine, thanks. Oh, and I don’t let all of that delicious liquid evaporate away. Leave some and then use a chunk of baguette to sop it up from your plate.

Green Beans

Carmelizing the Onions

Green Beans with Carmelized Onions

This is adapted from Melissa Clark’s A Good Appetite column at the New York Times. (Her original recipe is Grilled Sausages and Summer Beans with Herbs, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions, but I only did the beans part of it and, therefore, have only included the beans aspect of the recipe. Also, instead of copying out her recipe word for word, I’ve written it including the changes I made.)

Beans with Caramelized Onions

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/4 cup white wine (but, as indicated above, I kept using it for adding more liquid. So, likely more like a cup of white wine, unless you want to use water.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, including basil and parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add onion, thyme and a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. Saute over medium-high heat until onions are golden in spots and browned around the edges, about seven minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they start to release their juices, about two minutes. Add the beans and wine and toss everything. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook three minutes. Uncover pan, add herbs and continue to cook. Toss beans occasionally, until there is only a bit of liquid left and beans are cooked to taste — five to 30 minutes depending on if you want them tender crispy or a little more cooked. Add more wine to the pan if it gets too dry. (You can also use water, if you’d like.)

Consider serving with chunks of fresh bread for mopping up the wine/bean/tomato juices.

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