Romano a Mano

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Romano beans are just big, flat, broad beans that you could, in fact, snap the ends off and trim by hand. Or even eat by hand, once they cool down. Sweet and juicy—especially braised—this summer they’ve become my favorite CSA bean.

Braised Romano Beans with Garlic and Tomatoes

Use this same technique for waxed beans, green beans, or string beans. For skinnier varieties, though, start checking for doneness at 15 minutes.

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  • 2–3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound yellow or green Romano beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 10 – 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh herbs (I prefer sage and rosemary; oregano and/or basil work well, too)

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Rinse and pick through the beans, discarding any stray stems and overly rusty pods. Snap or trim off the ends, and cut the beans into one-inch pieces. Lightly smash the garlic. Discard the papery skins, but leave the cloves in big pieces.

Warm two tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, letting it bubble for just a couple minutes. You want it good and fragrant, but not at all brown, so shake the pan if it looks like it’s starting to stick.

Add the beans, sprinkle with salt, and give the pan another shake. Dump in the water, cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Shake the pan again. Add the tomatoes, re-cover the pan, and cook for another ten minutes or so, until the beans are tender and juicy, but still holding their shape. If there’s still significant liquid in the pan, raise the heat for a minute or two (lid off), and let the water cook off.

Taste for salt. Drizzle with the rest of the oil, and sprinkle on the herbs. Serve warm or room temperature.

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