Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Mediterranean Green Beans and Tomatoes

August 31, 2018 by General Administrator

When you cook beans slowly in olive oil the result is quite different from the snappy crispness produced by a quick dip in boiling water. The oil and tomatoes meld into a rich sauce that gives the dish substance and depth. Add some fresh basil and a slice of salty cheese, and enjoy for dinner with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
Rachel Roddy recommends you let the beans sit for a couple of hours before eating them but I think they’re pretty good straight away as well.

Braised Green Beans with Tomato and Basil
Serves 3-4

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small white onions, peeled and sliced thin
750g green beans or runner beans
750g ripe tomatoes, peeled if you wish, chopped coarsely
A handful of torn basil leaves
Feta, or other salty cheese, sliced, to serve (optional)

Warm the oil in a heavy-based frying pan (with a lid) over a medium-low flame. Gently fry the onion with a pinch of salt until it is soft and translucent.

Cut or break the beans into 5cm-long pieces. Add them to the pan and stir well until each piece is glistening with oil. Continue cooking and stirring for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes and another small pinch of salt, stir, then cover the frying pan. After a couple of minutes uncover the pan and stir – the tomatoes should be relinquishing their juices. Cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Once the tomatoes have given up their juice, uncover the pan and allow it to simmer, uncovered, stirring every now and then for around 40–50 minutes, or until the beans have become very tender and the tomatoes have reduced into a thick, rich sauce. During the final few minutes of cooking time, stir in the ripped basil leaves. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary.

Serve with slices of feta, if desired, or let them sit for a few hours before eating. These are very good the next day, as well.

Recipe adapted from Rachel Roddy, The Guardian, 23 May 2017.

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