Why It Works
- Long beans are tougher, sturdier beans that can stand up to prolonged cooking, becoming incredibly tender and flavorful.
- Crushing the tomatoes by hand produces a texture that's just chunky enough.
If you ask me, people don't overcook their vegetables often enough. The truth is, vegetables can sometimes be absolutely delicious when cooked until there isn't a trace of crispness left. In fact, some vegetables practically require long cooking—like these long beans braised in tomatoes, which are best only after you've cooked them to death.
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 medium cloves garlic, sliced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pound long beans, ends trimmed, beans cut into 5-inch lengths (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juices, crushed by hand
- 2 tablespoons packed chopped fresh mint leaves
In a large sauté pan, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until garlic is lightly golden, about 4 minutes.
Add long beans and raise heat to high. Cook, stirring, until beans are bright green and beginning to sear, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes to pan. Add 1/2 cup water to empty tomato can, swish it around to pick up any extra tomato juices and pulp, and add to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Lower heat to maintain simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender throughout and tomato has reduced to a thick sauce, about 30 minutes. Add more water, if necessary, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent tomatoes from scorching during cooking. Stir in mint and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Alternatively, chill in refrigerator, then serve chilled or at room temperature, or rewarm before serving.
You can use regular string beans in place of long beans; if you do, omit the water and braise them just until the string beans are soft and tender, about 15 minutes.