Simple but sweetly seductive.
1½ Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 large tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
450g (about 1 lb) green beans, trimmed
Half a dozen basil leaves, chopped
1 Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan (skillet) over medium heat and add the onion. Cover with a lid and cook gently for about 10 minutes, lowering heat once onion is gently sizzling. Remove lid and cook briefly until lightly golden.
2 Plunge tomatoes into a saucepan of gently boiling water and count to 15. The skin should be loosened by this time. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl of cold water and peel. (If the skin is difficult to peel, return tomatoes to the pan of water for a further 10 seconds.) Chop tomatoes. Add to onion in the pan, bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until tomato mixture is pulpy, but still moist (don’t let it dry up). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3 Meanwhile, plunge beans into a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness and maturity of the beans (or until they are tender, or done to your liking). Drain and refresh with cold water until they feel cool. Drain.
4 Add beans to tomato and onion, season with salt and pepper, toss gently and heat through until steamy. Add basil then transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Chop basil just before using to keep it green.
Add a little grated ginger or crushed garlic to the onion for a sweeter hotter flavour, or add a touch of ground turmeric, or ground cumin once the onion is browned. These beans are also good as leftovers, served at room temperature.