Sep 05 2012

Cooking it Fresh: Romano Beans

I have to be honest: I prepared and ate this romano bean salad three weeks ago. Clearly, the “fresh” of “cooking it fresh” refers to the beans and not this post! My best friend/college roommate got married in England last week, meaning I put this website and its content on hold in order to spend time with the bride and celebrate her marriage! Had I had one more hour before we to left for the airport, I’d have shared this much earlier than today.

Even in my slightly jet-lagged state, the flavors and textures from this recipe still stand out strongly in my mind: the squeakiness of the romano bean on first bite; the garlicy aroma that filled my kitchen; the cherry tomato’s acidity mingling with the rosemary. This side dish tastes heartier — and is more filling — than the list of ingredients implies. The stock works as the conductor of all of the other tastes, with the herbs quickly infusing into the liquid and then the beans absorbing that flavor.

At today’s farmers’ market, I didn’t spot any romano beans, but I did see baskets of pole beans, for which this recipe is easily adaptable.

Toasted Garlic Romano Beans

Serves 4 as a side dish


  • 1 1/2 lbs romano beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon each of minced thyme, oregano, and rosemary
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup stock (or 1/4 stock stock; 1/4 water)
  • Directions:

    1. Fill a bowl with ice and water and set aside. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the romano beans and cook them until crisp-tender, between 2 and 4 minutes.
    2. Immediately drain the beans and submerge them in the ice bath. When they are cool enough to handle, drain them. Trim the ends and cut the beans diagonally into 2-inch lengths. Set aside.
    3. Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly toasted, 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining oil, tomatoes, all of the herbs, and a salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have softened, around 2 minutes.
    4. Add the stock and beans. Cook until the beans are heated through and coated with the garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. Serve and enjoy!