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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, called fagiolini serpenti or fagiolini di Sant’ Anna in Italy. You can find them in most Asian markets and at summer farmers markets. First, we dry sauté a flavorful mix of cherry tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and season with aka (red) miso and wakame (instead of anchovy). Then we toss in white beans and braise the mix in a hot oven. This thickens its flavorful juices into a delectable sauce as it lightly toasts the dish. Serve as an entrée with toasted, garlicked slices of a rustic 100% whole grain loaf to sop up the juices, or atop crusty garlic toast and serve them as bruschetta for an appetizer.


Yardlong beans may look like green beans, but their flavor is more delicate, more akin to asparagus. 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 too. A heat-tolerant crop, they survive better than snap beans in warming climes. Yardlongs are quite nutritious too: They offer high levels of folates, vitamins A and C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.


Prep 15 minutes

Cook 45 minutes

Serves 4 to 5


1 pound yardlong beans, blanched

1 ½  pounds cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

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

½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped,

2 full tablespoons pine nuts

½ teaspoon wakame seaweed, ground

2 15-ounce cans (about 3 cups) no-sodium great northern, cannellini, or navy beans, 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

Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley



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, then steeping for an hour. 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, about 30 minutes.


  • Preheat oven to 425°F conventional oven/400°F convection oven
  • 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 off the tough stem tips, and blanch the beans 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.
  • Use a mezzaluna or chef knife 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 a quarter inch of juice at the bottom of the pan.  Add broth or remove excess liquid with a turkey baster, 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 garlicky bread to sop up its delectable sauce.


Braised Yardlong Beans with Tomatoes and White Beans

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