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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Braised Yardlong Beans with Tomatoes and White Beans


Here is a variation of a classic Tuscan dish featuring remarkable 18-inch yardlong beans, commonly called fagiolini serpenti or fagiolini di Sant’ Anna in Italy. You can find them in most Asian markets and at summer farmers markets. Sautéed without oil in a flavorful mix of fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and seasoned with aka (red) miso and wakame (instead of anchovy), they are tossed with white beans, and then braised in a hot oven to lightly toast and thicken its flavorful juices into a sauce. Serve as an entrée with toasted, garlicy slices of whole grain bread to sop up the juices, or atop the crusty toasts as crostini.


Yardlong beans’ flavor is delicate, reminiscent to asparagus, some say. They hold up better than other green bean varieties in a braise or a stew, and of course they are happy to be stir-fried in Chinese and Indonesian dishes. Yardlongs are quite nutritious with high levels of folates, vitamins A and C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. Heat-tolerant, they survive better than snap beans in warming climes, and all the components in this dish are very low emitters of greenhouse gas emissions.


Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Serves 4 to 5


1 pound yardlong beans, blanched

1.5 pounds hiiros or similar cherry tomato, sliced in half

3 cloves garlic, peeled plus one clove to rub on the toasted bread

½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons more to reserve for garnish

2 full tablespoons pine nuts

½ teaspoon wakame seaweed, ground

1 ½ 15-ounce cans (about 3 cups) no-sodium great northern or cannellini or similar white bean, rinsed *

2 tablespoons aka (red) miso paste

1 cup no-sodium vegetable broth

Several grinds of black pepper

4 to 5 slices of 100% whole grain artisanal bread, toasted



*Hint: If you have time, cook the beans from scratch to infuse them with added flavor: Either soak ½ cup dried white beans overnight in cool water or cover with water by a few inches in a medium pot and simmer for 2 minutes before, turning off the heat and steeping for an hour to rehydrate. Change the water, fill with cool water again, toss in the 2 whole peeled garlic cloves and a sprig of fresh sage, and simmer gently (white beans are fragile) until tender but intact.


Soak the long beans in a large bowl filled with cold water as you prep your ingredients. Bring a pot of water to a boil, cut the tough stem tips from the beans, and blanch them for 3 minutes or until barely tender. Plunge them into a bowl of ice water to halt cooking and brighten their color. Cool for a few minutes, drain. Cut the long beans into 4 to 5-inch pieces.


Preheat oven to 425°F conventional oven/400°F convection oven


Use a chef knife or a mezzaluna to chop the garlic together with the parsley.


Use a small coffee or spice grinder to reduce the dried wakame seaweed to a powder. Mix it into the aka miso paste. Dissolve the wakame-aka paste in the cup of vegetable broth.


Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss in the cut tomatoes, lower heat slightly and dry sauté the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes will soften and begin to break down and release their juices.  Season with grinds of black pepper to taste.


Stir in the pine nuts and garlic-parsley mix and sauté for another two minutes. Stir in the aka-wakame-seasoned broth. Cook for a minute before gently but thoroughly stirring in the yardlong beans, followed by the white beans. There should be about ¼” of juice at the bottom of the pan.  Add broth or remove excess liquid, if you need to.


Cover the sauté pan and transfer the pan to the oven. Braise, covered, for 20 minutes, during which time the flavors will meld.  Remove the cover and continue to braise for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans and tomatoes very lightly char and the sauce thickens and intensifies in flavor.


Cut each slice of bread in half. Toast. Rub the surface of each piece with the raw garlic clove. Season with grinds of black pepper.


Plate the braised vegetables on individual plates or a single platter. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm with the garlicy bread to sop up its delectable sauce.

Braised Yardlong Beans with Tomatoes and White Beans

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