In Turkey, slow braised vegetables in olive oil is common. It’s a cooking method that creates fabulous flavours. These green beans are cooked with tomatoes, olive oil and onions until meltingly soft – and the sauce! Oh my!
The method of cooking is very similar to a la Grecque style of cooking, where wine and olive oil are used to slowly cook the vegetables. This dish has no wine, but uses lemon juice instead. Indeed France, Italy, Greece, all over the Middle East and Sephardic Jewish communities all have similar recipes for long cooked beans with tomatoes and olive oil. No wonder! It is delicious, with the beans absorbing the flavours of the sauce as they soften and meld into the dish.
Green Beans Braised in Tomato and Olive Oil
this amount serves 8 as a side dish, so scale by half if needed
0.33 cups olive oil (80 ml)
3 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chipped
600g ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
50g tomato paste
800g green beans, trimmed
0.33 cup lemon juice (80 ml)
2 tspn caster sugar
1.5 Tblspn dill, chopped
parsley, chopped, to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saute pan over a medium heat and cook the garlic, onions and 1.5 tspns sea salt for 10 minutes until soft.
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the beans, lemon juice, sugar, dill and 400 ml water. Cover the surface of the beans with a round of baking paper, then cook for 1 – 1.5 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally, or until the beans are very soft and liquid has been reduced.
Cool to room temperature and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.