Basil and Green Beans are a summer match made in heaven. This gratinate brings out their more comforting qualities. Basil and Green Bean Gratinate .
- 1½ pound fresh green beans
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for boiling water)
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- ½ pound mozzarella
- 1 cup fresh whole basil leaves
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400Â°F. Set the rack in the center.
Pre-pare an ice bath in a large bowl.
Fill a large pot with about 3 quarts of water. Let it come to a boil and then add a good amount of kosher salt.
Dump all the fresh green beans into the boiling water, cover the pot until the water boils again, then cook uncovered, for 4–6 minutes or so, until they are barely cooked; tender but still firm enough to snap.
Drain the beans briefly in a colander, and then plunge them in the prepared iced bath. When cool transfer them to another bowl and sprinkle them with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Beans can really take a lot of salt. So let them sit a few minutes to absorb some of the seasoning.
Meanwhile, rinse and dry the tomatoes. If they’re larger than an inch, slice them in half otherwise leave them whole. Cut the mozzarella into ½‑inch cubes. Slice the basil leaves into thin shreds which is called a chiffonade. It is easier to achieve this if you bindle quite a few on top of each other, then roll them cigar style. Cut the cross wise and you will be left with perfect chiffonades.
Toss the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl. Lightly grease the insides of a shallow, 2 or 3 quart baking dish with a teaspoon or more of the butter. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the cheese and breadcrumb mixture all over the bottom and up the sides of the baking dish.
Add the tomatoes, cubes of mozzarella and basil shreds into the bowl containing the cooled and salted green beans. Drizzle the olive oil over all, sprinkle on the remaining ¼‑teaspoon salt and toss together a few times. Sprinkle about half of the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs on top and toss well, until everything is well coated.
Scrape the vegetables and breadcrumbs into the baking dish and spread them around in an even well mixed and even layer. Sprinkle over the remaining breadcrumbs and cut the remaining butter into dice and scatter them all over the top. Place the dish in the oven.
Bake the gratinate for 12 minutes, then rotate it and bake another 12 minutes. 24 minutes should be perfect to achieve a brown bubbly crust. However, if it is not browned to your satisfaction place it under a broiler for a moment or two rather than cook it longer, which will only succeed in overcooking the beans.
Bring the hot gratinate to the table in the baking dish.