FAGIOLINI ALLA FIORENTINA (with fennel, for four)
1 pound French beans, washed and drained, ends snapped off
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tomato peeled seeded and chopped
1 pound blanched green beans
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Drop the beans into rapidly boiling, salted water. Cover briefly, to bring the water quickly back to a boil, then immediately remove the cover. Boil uncovered until the beans are just cooked through but retain a slight crunch of texture –4 to 5 minutes. Test by eating several. Drain the beans immediately when they are done and run them under cold water or plunge into a basin filled with ice cubes and water. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels.
- Saute onion and fennel seeds in olive oil until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato is soft and the juices have evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the blanched green beans, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and cook until the beans are heated through, about 2 minutes.
adapted from Michele Scicolone, Savoring Italy