Labor Day Recipe: Summer Sweet Corn, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Sauté with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

Recipe video by Vic Chin.

This year we finally planted our first real vegetable garden, since we now live in a place that is warm enough to have a real vegetable garden. Every day my daughter is out there foraging for whatever looks yummy and ripe—raspberries, lettuce, celery, potatoes, and more—because there really is nothing like a just-picked vegetable or fruit. Things my daughter thought she didn’t like (lettuce, go figure) she loves from our garden.

One of the best things we planted was green beans, and she’s become a pro at picking them. I even bought her her very own teeny gardening shears so she can cut (as opposed to rip) the tender veggies from the vine.

And, of course, there are the tomatoes. Living in San Francisco, we tried every year to grow tomatoes and really only managed to succeed with cherry tomatoes (which felt like a victory!). But now we have an entire raised bed devoted to 6 different varieties. Of course, we will always include a cherry tomato plant, because those are the most easy to pop into your mouth whenever you see a ripe one. But, as anyone who grows cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes) knows, all of a sudden they will ripen and you’ll become overwhelmed by them. So I’m always looking for new, tasty ways to use them.

This corn, green bean, and cherry tomato combo is my go-to summer sauté. I make it at least once a week, if not more, when all these summer veggies are in season. It’s a super versatile side because the sweet-tangy flavor is terrific alongside roasted or grilled chicken, grilled or baked salmon fillets, a gorgeous grilled steak, or atop creamy or grilled polenta.

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To make it vegan, simply omit the butter. Feel free to swap out sugar snap peas for the green beans, or play with the herbs you have growing in your own garden. It’s lovely with basil, oregano, thyme or all of them combined.

Ingredients for Corn, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Sauté
Ingredients for Corn, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Sauté (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Corn, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Sauté

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Makes about 6 servings

    Ingredients:
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 cups halved sweet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme, parsley, marjoram, basil, and/or oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
Chop thyme along with other fresh herbs
Chop thyme along with other fresh herbs (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Instructions:
  1. To blanch the green beans, fill a mixing bowl with ice and cold water to create an ice bath. Bring a saucepan half filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the green beans. Cook until just crisp-tender, then drain in a colander and transfer to the ice bath. Set aside.
  2. Bring a saucepan half filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the green beans.
    Bring a saucepan half filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the green beans. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Cook green beans until just crisp-tender, then drain in a colander.
    Cook green beans until just crisp-tender, then drain in a colander. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Transfer green beans to the ice bath.
    Transfer green beans to the ice bath. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  3. To cut the kernels off the cob, snap or cut the cob in half crosswise. Stand the cob on the flat end, and, using a sharp knife, cut down the side of the cob to remove the kernels.
  4. To cut the kernels off the cob, snap or cut the cob in half crosswise.
    To cut the kernels off the cob, snap or cut the cob in half crosswise. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Stand the cob on the flat end, and, using a sharp knife, cut down the side of the cob to remove the kernels.
    Stand the cob on the flat end, and, using a sharp knife, cut down the side of the cob to remove the kernels. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  5. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the corn, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and some salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the corn is just barely tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the green beans (remove any ice cubes) and add to the corn mixture along with the lemon juice and butter, if using. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  6. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the corn.
    In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the corn. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Add the tomatoes, fresh herbs, and some salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the corn is just barely tender, about 3 minutes.
    Add the tomatoes, fresh herbs, and some salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the corn is just barely tender, about 3 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Drain the green beans (remove any ice cubes) and add to the corn mixture along with the lemon juice and butter, if using.
    Drain the green beans (remove any ice cubes) and add to the corn mixture along with the lemon juice and butter, if using. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Cook, stirring, until the mixture is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Cook, stirring, until the mixture is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Corn, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Sauté
Serve the Corn, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Sauté hot or at room temperature. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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