Today, a simple recipe. It’s the end of summer here (I will not weep. I will not weep), and we are trying to come up with recipes that use as many garden ingredients as possible. It’s really the only time of year we can do this because we are not organized enough to plant with that in mind and don’t grow a big winter garden. So I was happy to remember this recipe that I learned from Michael Christie, who I was at university with, and who is also an amazing writer. The guy knows what to do with green beans too.





Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Tomatoes and Basil

About three large handfuls of green beans, more if you have them

Three largeish cloves of garlic, minced

Two handfuls of cherry tomatoes halved, or an equivalent amount of chopped big tomatoes

a large handful of basil leaves, sliced thinly or shredded

olive oil

good balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the tops off the green beans if you like. I always leave the bottoms on, but it’s up to you. Toss them in a generous amount of olive oil which you have also coated a cookie sheet with. There should be enough space for the beans to lie in one layer. If they are heaped on the pan, they will steam more than roast and may not get as dark and crispy as we like them. Again, your taste. Toss the garlic in with the beans and combine well. Sprinkle on some coarse salt and as much ground pepper as you like. Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, but check them regularly because they benefit from the occasional turn with a spatula to get even more crispy. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and tear/chop the basil. When the beans are a bit shrivelled and brown in some places and the garlic is golden, take them out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet. Throw the tomatoes into a large bowl, then all the not-so-hot beans and garlic. You want the heat from the beans to make the tomato juices run and mingle with everything else. Toss this mixture with the basil, then top with a few glugs of olive oil and as much balsamic vinegar as you like. Toss again and serve either right away or later at room temperature. Crusty bread and a nice wine…just saying.

What are your go-to end-of-summer recipes?