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Old-Fashioned Green Beans with Bacon

Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1½ cups diced tomatoes (about ¾ pound)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Procedures:

When I was young, I had a summer job of picking buckets of Blue Lake pole beans in fields not far from where we lived in Oregon. We also grew beans in our family garden, so summer beans were plentiful and enjoyed fresh or canned and frozen to eat throughout the year. This is one favorite preparation that I learned from my mother and grandmother. It’s certainly not the mode today to cook beans as long as is called for here. But unless the green beans will end up in a salad where crunch is called for, I prefer to cook them to the point that they’re tender.
You can use fresh or canned tomatoes; I tend to use fresh only when they’re at their summertime best. When they aren’t at their peak, a 14½-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained, will give you the 1½ cups needed here.
  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans, decrease the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the beans are soft but not mushy. The water shouldn't boil; decrease the heat to medium-low if needed. Drain the beans well and return to the empty pan.


  2. While the beans are cooking, fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and browned. With a slotted spoon, scoop the bacon onto paper towels to drain, reserving the fat in the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender and aromatic. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.


  3. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, decrease the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the tomato juices have thickened. Add the tomato mixture and the bacon to the green beans, toss well over medium heat to warm through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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