Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and I foisted it off on Fred because sometimes a girl’s just tired of trying to pick a recipe. After I rejected his okra-based suggestion (I could ONLY imagine what Nance would have said about that – and now that I said that, she’s going to be all “I love okra!” Liar.), he came up with this one. We have tons of cherry tomatoes right now, and harvested 73 tons of green beans earlier this Summer, so this seemed like a good – and relatively easy – way to use up some of that stuff.

The ingredients:

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A pound of green beans – previously in the freezer, thawed – 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (we grow Sungold tomatoes – they’re orange when they’re ripe, so those are NOT unripe tomatoes)(also, if you’ve never tried Sungolds, you are missing OUT)(also also, recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of tomatoes, but I decided to round up), Balsamic vinegar, olive oil (recipe called for extra virgin, but Fred hates the extra virgin, so it’s plain ol’ olive oil), garlic, salt and pepper.

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Step one: heat oil over med-high heat, saute green beans 2 – 3 minutes. Not pictured: add water, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 3 – 6 minutes, depending on how tender you want your green beans. Mine were already pretty tender from being blanched, cooled, frozen, ignored for a couple of months, and then thawed out, so I opted for 3 minutes.

Next step: Push the beans to the side, add the remaining oil, add garlic, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. I probably used more garlic than the recipe called for, because I always do. I LOVE garlic.

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Next: add tomatoes (which I got around to slicing in half, you’ll note.)

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Stir all that stuff together, and cook ’til the tomatoes start to break down, 2 – 3 minutes.

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Remove from heat, add the vinegar, salt and pepper, and stuff in your face.

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The verdict? I thought it was just okay; Fred LOVED it. In fact, we had it as a side dish the day I made the London Broil (aren’t I just so EFFICIENT?) and for dinner the next night, Fred had some of the London Broil, sliced, in a tortilla. He topped the steak with a big spoonful of the Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes. Doesn’t that sound gross? And what’s worse is that two days later he was going to have MORE of the green beans and cherry tomatoes on a tortilla by itself (or maybe on a little piece of leftover London Broil, I don’t remember which), and he was mad that I’d tossed the rest of it in the pig bucket.

(In my defense, I had no idea he liked it THAT much.)

So yeah – great big double thumbs up from Fred, and a meh from me. Maybe a little more than a meh. A meh-plus.

Before I turn it over to Nance, here you go: Inspector-in-training RatBat Picklehead is not impressed with your shit.

(ie, gratuitous kitten shot ’til I can actually remember to take a picture of him stomping around on the counter.)

PS: Nutritional info is included in the recipe notes ONLY because it was provided in the original recipe.


Nance’s Take:

I was going to sit here and try to justify why I did what I did to this poor recipe, but telling the truth is a lot easier.  I was being a BITCH.

My mother has made it her mission to repeatedly remind me of things that I am well aware of until I finally  Enter:  THIS GODDAMN GREEN BEAN RECIPE.  I had heard so much about it that one night I dropped everything I was doing and made this dish…with the attitude of a 14-yr-old girl that was just grounded from her cell phone.

Back story:  I really dislike fresh green beans.  They’re gross.  I remember as a child having to pick what seemed like acres of them.  Then we had to sit outside in the hot sun and snap those little fuckers by the bushel.  And I won’t even get started on how much I hated those little yellow bugs that were sometimes attached to them.  Trust me, the horror that is my childhood and gardening is best kept to myself.  Just know this:  I DO NOT garden as an adult and I honestly believe that forced gardening is child abuse, MOM.


So yeah, I conveniently didn’t have fresh green beans on hand.  I just grabbed two cans off the shelf and went to town and justified it by saying that I’m giving people an alternative just in case they also don’t have fresh on hand.  Shush, you.


They were two different brands and I did not care because they were the last two cans of green beans I had in the house.  And I really couldn’t tell the difference when I dumped them in the skillet. I also didn’t bother to waste the second can of beans as the recipe called for 1 pound (16 ounces) and the cans were 14.5 ounces each. I just threw them all in the skillet and sighed heavily so my mother would know how annoyed I was.  Oh, is that a Polish Pottery spoon holder back there?  I think it is!

Don’t get too excited to play this game, I only have one more piece.


Blah, blah, fry in olive oil, push to the side. Can this recipe get any more boring?

During my childhood I ate a lot of green beans. Because they were fried in a cast iron skillet with LARD. My mother canned them so it was very common to just bust open a jar, dump it in the skillet and fry them until they were partially burned. We called this a side dish and I loved them (of course, because I am Fatty McFatt).


My mom sliced these cherry tomatoes for me. Probably because she knew I was agitated and felt guilty. My poor mom. Oh wait, she’s the asshole that kept bothering me about these damn beans!  So she deserves it! Heh.


Get my garlic from a jar (like normal people do, ahem).  And didn’t bother to measure it because hello, I am an immature human being that is pissed off about green beans!


Action shot! I haz mad skilz!


This is what they turned out like. I have to admit that I was truly not impressed and it had nothing to do with my hissy fit. They were just not that great. Rick didn’t like them and I really thought he would as he likes them when they’re fried in soy or Worcestershire sauce. The balsamic vinegar didn’t help it at all and I thought it would. Shirley said they were okay, but eh, she doesn’t care either way if I ever make it again.

It’s not a winner, but it’s not a loser either. I just think it’s not our thing.

9/14/12: Comments closed due to spammers.

Nance & Robyn make the same recipe - Sauteed Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: side dish, appetizer(?)
Serves: 4
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add green beans and cook, stirring often, until seared in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add water, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes for tender-crisp or 6 minutes for tender.
  4. Push the beans to the side; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomatoes, stir everything together and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, salt and pepper.
Nutritional Info: Per serving: 71 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 5 g fiber; 157 mg sodium; 379 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Vitamin K (26% dv), Vitamin A (18% dv). Carbohydrate Servings: ½ Exchanges: 2 vegetable, ½ fat


Caprese Salad – (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Caprese Salad, found over at Tasty Kitchen. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and I was TOTALLY on board. We’re getting tons of really great-looking tomatoes coming in from the garden (this is the first year I can honestly say that – we haven’t had much luck with tomatoes in the past), and so I was looking forward to using some of them for this recipe.

The ingredients are simple:

CapreseSalad (2)

Tomatoes, basil (I didn’t grow my own basil this year, unfortunately), mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar.

First, take two cups of balsamic vinegar and put it in a small pot over medium-low heat.

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How amazed was I that the entire bottle of balsamic vinegar was exactly two cups? SO amazed. And then I looked at the label where it said that the contents were 16 fluid ounces, and I was like “Oh. Duh.” When I bought it at the store, instead of even looking at the label I just glanced at the bottle and said “That looks like more than two cups. I’m sure it’ll be enough.”

I didn’t get a picture of the vinegar in the pot. You’re going to just have to use your imagination.

While the vinegar sat over the heat, I sliced my tomatoes in thick slices.

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Then sliced the mozzarella in thick slices, and arranged the tomatoes and cheese on a plate.

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And THEN tucked leaves of basil on top of the slices of mozzarella.

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When that was done, I stood over the pot of balsamic vinegar. It took several minutes to come to anything approaching a boil, and that only happened after I got annoyed and turned the heat up to medium. Patience is not my strong suit.

Hey, quick question: did you know that boiling balsamic vinegar steam kind of feels like mustard gas in your lungs? Did you? Because it totally does, and now I’m typing to you from life support because my lungs were destroyed by balsamic vinegar gas. THANKS NANCE. I went back and reread the recipe for the part where it says “Have your windows open and all the fans going, and don’t BREATHE IN the balsamic vinegar steam, you fucking idiot”, but they seem to have left that part out.


That shit boiled for what felt like three hours. I stirred and looked and pondered and thought, and I was like “This is NOT getting thicker. What the hell?” Finally, when it had been 20 minutes, I decided to take it off the heat because I was afraid it would all just boil away, and I was not going to the store to buy another bottle. I poured it into the measuring cup and found that it had reduced to just over 1/2 cup.

That’s right, y’all. I had MADE A REDUCTION all by myself!

WHO’s the fancy bitch with 73 cats who can make a fancypants balsamic reduction? WHO?

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Cap’n Floofypants was terribly impressed, as you can see.

After the reduction cooled off (and it got thicker as it cooled, by the way), I drizzled a bit of olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzarella, and then I drizzled the reduction over that. The original recipe offers that you can “make designs if you want.” But, um, no. I don’t want. But thanks anyway. Sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and it was time to eat!

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The verdict? It was surprisingly good! I mean, I knew we’d like the tomatoes and mozzarella because that’s how we eat tomatoes all the time, but I liked the balsamic reduction far more than I expected. Two thumbs up from me.

Fred declared it good, but “too basil-y.” I think that next time I’ll use a lot less basil.

I also refrigerated the leftover balsamic reduction, and used it for the next several days as a dip for my cherry tomatoes (we’re eating a lot of tomatoes these days). ‘Twas really really good. I’m definitely going to make this again – though I’ll be sure to wear my gas mask next time.


Nance’s Take:


This recipe starts out easy enough.  You cook the hell out of balsamic vinegar until it reduces into a syrupy sauce (reduction) that you think will be good once you pour it over tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  If you told me a few years ago that I would ever be using balsamic vinegar to cook with, I would have not known what you were talking about because balsamic vinegar was not a part of my world.  I was this close to being one of those plain folk.  THIS CLOSE, PEOPLE.  Thank God for the Internet!

The really sad part is that most of you think I’m just bullshitting up there and it’s the truth.  My world was small.  Very small.


This is me trying to be like that goody-two-shoes Robyn.  There is one very important ingredient that is missing from this picture and there is a reason.  A horrifying reason that you will find out soon enough.


Rumor has it that this smells like hell while it’s cooking.  I wouldn’t know because I put my husband in charge of it.  If it takes more than 5 minutes of my attention, I bail.  I honestly cannot help it.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:  This is the perfect time to invest in an iPod and start downloading podcasts.  I follow quite a few podcasts and they have saved many a meal from destruction.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on what kind of mood I am in) my family likes to be around me.  If they’re around me while I’m cooking and I can’t listen to podcasts (due to their constant talking and/or the fact that it would be rude to ignore them), then I just put their asses to work.

For those that skimmed:  I just took the long way to explain that I wasn’t the one that made the actual reduction.  Moving on.


When it was done (although we really were not sure what done meant because no one bothered to time it) we put it in a measuring cup and set it to the side.


It’s amazing how wasteful it feels when you see the amount that two cups “reduced” really is.  Just remind yourself that the taste is incredible so it’s worth it.


My “log” of mozzarella cheese.  I sent my youngest son to the store for it and I really wasn’t sure what I was going to end up with.  Most 18-year-old males only know that mozzarella is the cheese that is used on pizza.  And most 18-year-old males pretty much assume that it ends up there by magic.  I was truly surprised when he brought home the right thing.


True Confession (s):  I cannot cut a tomato.  I cannot cut (or do) anything that requires using both hands.  My left hand is completely useless and nobody (including myself) can figure out how it is that I can type.  I am completely screwed if I have a freak accident and lose the use of my right limb.  There, now you know my kryptonite.


The husband is doing an excellent job slicing my tomatoes.  But I absolutely loathe the cutting board he’s using.  Unfortunately, we have tried others and we always go back to this cheap plastic one.  Tack. Ass.


All done and ready to go.  We only had three ripe tomatoes so we were totally making do with this recipe.


We had basil plants outside that we completely neglected.  This was the ingredient that was missing in the earlier picture.  Rick managed to pluck the very few leaves that looked “edible” and we placed them strategically (we also had to unroll them which makes me think that they could have used some life support).  I had planned to crop the picture so that no one would ever know, but then I realized that I do not live at Crooked Acres (™ The Anderson’s).  And I have more important things to do (hello, Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes/Suri/Scientology!) than worry about tending to a garden.


Please note that I am trying to show you how I pour olive oil on the tomato/mozzarella/basil (shut-up) mess, but I’m sure you can figure out that I was no where near the actual plate.  It’s HARD to take pictures and pour at the same time.


glug, glug, glug.  I poured that shit all over the place.


Once again, did not actually pour until the picture was already taken.


I had the audacity to attempt a design.  As you can tell, that went to hell pretty quick.  Check out that Zombie basil hanging in there, man.  It totally needed a bullet to the brain.


I salt and peppered the shit out of this thing.  And then we pulled the zombie basil out and ate the entire thing.  And it was fabulous.  Although Shirley (my mom) didn’t care for it because of the whole white cheese thing.  White cheese chokes people, remember?  Now forget I even wrote that because it’s just a bullshit thing that HER PARTICULAR BRAND OF CRAZY BELIEVES.  White cheese is not a cold-hearted killer.  I promise.


Caprese Salad - (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: appetizer, salad, side dish
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 (or more) whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
  • 12 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thick
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  1. In a small pot, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat (or get annoyed and turn the heat up to medium.)
  3. Cook for 10 - 20 minutes or until balsamic vinegar has reduced to a thicker glaze (or until it has clearly reduced by a lot and you're worried it will boil away to nothing.)
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool (it'll get thicker as it cools, especially if you stick it in the fridge.)
  5. Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction.
  7. Store extra balsamic reduction in fridge for a later use.
  8. End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper.