by Julie Snyder
Green beans -- you can eat them raw, barely toss in a frying pan, pickle them, boil them or you could give them a long, slow braise and create savory Greek green beans.
Soft, but not mushy, cooked in a garlic-tomato sauce, each meltingly tender bite is imbued with savory flavor -- garlicky and just a little hot.
They're perfect for a holiday feast or an everyday dinner.
After just a single bite, this recipe may be promoted to a regular.
Greek green beans with tomato
Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 75 minutes | Yield: 4-6 servings
• 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
• 2 large Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup white wine or water
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 lemon, cut into wedges
If you're using fresh beans, wash, tip and tail them. If the green beans are frozen, thaw at room temperature for about half an hour while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
Over medium temperature, heat the olive oil in a heavy lidded pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, if using. Sauté for another 5 minutes, until the tomato begins to break down.
Stir in the green beans and toss to coat with the onion and oil. Pour in the wine or water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the temperature, cover and cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
Stir in the cinnamon, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
For variety, you can 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried dill, mint or oregano.
Is your garden very happy? Toss in a few carrots and zucchini, for variety.
Although, I blush and admit that my substitute can't be considered even remotely Greek, I switch out the chopped tomatoes with freshly made hot salsa and ease up a bit on the cooking time. The ethnicity might be questionable, but the flavor can't be disputed.
Another member shared that her mom starts with the green beans and garlic and instead of tomatoes, onions and seasoning, uses 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. She says that it's not exactly Greek-style, more like mom-style.
How do you prepare your green beans?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.