Greek-style braised green beans
I’d never heard of this traditional Greek dish until I asked an acquaintance for recommendations on what to make with this year’s bumper crop of tomatoes and green beans in my garden. I was expecting separate suggestions so was surprised when she said to combine the beans and tomatoes in a stew-like preparation. Turns out the combo is a match made in heaven, especially when they’re braised with olive oil, onions, garlic, red wine and fresh herbs. You may want to make a double batch as the flavour is even better the second day and the dish reheats beautifully. I like to serve this with crusty bread and while it’s great solo as a vegetarian or vegan meal (if you use dairy-free feta), I should add that it goes exceptionally well with carefully-cooked fish.
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) tomato paste
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) red wine (optional but delicious)
- 1 pound (454 g) new potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups (250 – 375 mL) water, divided
- 1 pound (454 g) green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 cup (25 g) flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (1 g) fresh dill, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup (75 g) crumbled feta, to serve (or more, to taste)
- 1 lemon, in wedges
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, broad saucepan (I used a 10 inch / 25 cm sauté pan) with a lid. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and wine, if using, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and stir into the tomato mixture along with just enough of the water to barely cover the vegetables.
- Cover the pot and increase heat to bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat so it maintains a steady simmer.
- After 5 minutes, add the green beans by laying them on top of the potato mixture. DO NOT STIR.
- Over the green beans add the parsley, dill and enough of the remaining water to just cover the beans. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes then stir all the ingredients together, seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Test beans and potatoes; if both are not tender, cover and cook for a few more minutes, testing vegetables again.
- Spoon the mixture into four broad bowls and sprinkle feta over top. Pass lemon wedges at the table, to squeeze over top.