I'll be the first to admit, I get tired. There are rare weekends where I just don't want to cook. Work gets busy, life gets busy. I found myself just tossing some green beans into the steamer for a quick vegetable. Casting a guilty glance at the kitchen counter loaded with heirloom tomatoes, I stopped. Fresh green beans, heirloom tomatoes. Why am I wasting this opportunity?
Honestly, with very little extra effort, plain green beans became a delicious summer dish. The key to the richness in the broth is a French term, monter au buerre, or "finish with butter." This makes a perfect vegetarian main dish for a Meatless Monday Meal. Even when don't feel like cooking.
1 lb. green beans, stemmed, cut to 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs. olive oil
2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 stems fresh oregano, leaves only
2 stems, fresh marjoram, leaves only
1 lb. gnocchi
1/2 cup water from the gnocchi boiling
Salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tbs. butter
Start the water for the gnocchi and prep the veggies. This one comes together fast. Steam the green beans for about 5 minutes until crisp tender.
Add the oil to the skillet and heat when you start the green beans. Add the garlic, saute one minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer for about 5-7 minutes until tomatoes soften and the juices reduce by one-third.
Put the gnocchi on. It only takes a few minutes to cook. After about five minutes, there should be enough starch released into the cooking water. Ladle 1/3 cup cooking liquid from the gnocchi pot into the tomatoes to help the sauce "tighten up." Add the herbs and the cooked green beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
As a last step for the sauce, swirl in the butter to "finish" the sauce and add a bit of richness. Skim out the gnocchi onto a platter, top with the tomato and green bean sauce. Garnish with shaved parmesan, if desired.
Congratulate yourself on cooking even when you felt tired.