Green beans (haricot vert) “yahni” is one of the most delicious dishes during the Greek Summer.
Today I cook the deconstructed dish.
The desire for deconstruction was triggered in the open market where I bought the beans. They were so fresh and fragrant and the same time so delicate that I felt the need to maintain the “essence” of the green bean while at the same time enjoying the tomatoes, the onions and the garlic that are the key ingredients of the “yahni” dish.
In what follows I present the preparation of the three key ingredients of the dish as they were prepared and cooked.
The first key ingredient in a good “yahni” is the tomato sauce. A good tomato sauce is made from fresh tomatoes. I use small tomatoes, of the variety that they use for the canned ones (thicker skin, firm flesh).
The first stage in the making of the sauce is to cut them in half, add salt and pepper, a bit of dry oregano and olive oil, and put them in a sauce pan in medium heat.
The focus of the dish is the green bean. To extract maximum natural flavor I sliced them very thin.
To maintain the natural flavor, I only blanched them for two minutes.
Lets return to the tomato sauce.
When the tomatoes get soft, I add chopped basil and then put them through the sieve to remove the skins.
What remains will develop intense flavor after it is reduced to a thick juicy sauce. What you need for that is to add some olive oil.
As the sauce is being reduced, I blanch the green beans. It is important for me not only to maintain the flavor but also the texture. I do not want them to be mushy, but crunchy.
I let the beans relax and add garlic cloves and fresh onion stems in a pan with olive oil in low heat.
After half an hour I have delicious soft garli cloves, and onions. that maintain their original shape and have maximum flavor.
I keep the olive oil infused with the garlic and onion flavor on the side and start building a stack..
Bottom layer is the onions and the galic, then the green beans, and on top the sauce.
Enkoy with a robust white like asyrtico or a fine medium bodied red like a pimot noir.