Top | Mouths to Feed

Great, Green...Beans

(post, Margery Poitras)

primary-image, l

Adding to my daily culinary trials of trying to feed my kiddos healthy meals while keeping my own palate entertained, is the inability for my oven to work. I thought perhaps I was just being impatient as it seemed to take hours to preheat. After trying to cook this way for over a week, I called a repair man who informed me the oven is in fact, broken. While the part is on order, it has been all stove top cooking around here. So, with the kids under my feet, another meal was under way.

If anyone were to ask me what kind of food I do not like, I would say green beans. Truthfully, I like little, fresh ones. Tender, little, fresh ones. I just remember the days of thick green beans that squeaked on my teeth and I can't shake that sensation that was so unappealing to me as a youngster. Alas,  I bought some green beans at the store recently as Clay, 4, informed me he loves them at school. I was determined to get him to eat them at home, too. For Molly's sake, I got some cherry tomatoes, her favorite. With a little bacon, I figured I could put together a winning recipe for my gang. 

I sauteed the bacon while the kids honed their knife skills by cutting the ends off of the beans. I can always get them in the kitchen by offering knife work. Molly, 6, cut the little tomatoes in half while Emma, 8, got the garlic press loaded up with a clove of garlic. After removing the crispy bacon, I sauteed the beans in oil then added the tomatoes and garlic, seasoned with a pinch of salt then scattered the bacon on top. It was quick and looked really good.

I was right, the dish was a hit. Emma was on to seconds in no time. Molly ate hers with gusto and Clay said the ones at school were better, but he ate them all anyway. Oh, and so did I, as well as nibbled at the bowl of leftovers until they were gone, too. 

If I were cooking these for a more mature crowd, I would add some red onion with the green beans, add a pinch of red pepper flake and crumble some goat cheese on top, too. Pretty soon, we will be able to find local green beans at the farmer's market to make this recipe even more tasty.

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Cherry Tomatoes
serves 4-6
1/2 # green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
18 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

Saute the bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, pour off most of the 
fat, add the olive oil then the green beans. Cook over medium heat, 
stirring often, until softening, about 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 
garlic and salt and pepper. Stir until aromatic and tomatoes and soft, 
just a minute or two. Scatter the crisp bacon on top and serve warm.