Thursday, August 21, 2008

Green Beans with Tomatoes and Dill

Here's one of my favorite ways to fix green beans. This recipe is especially good with the broad, flat type of green bean.

This is a delicious "olive oil" dish. As part of a meze spread, it is served at room temperature, but in a Turkish home, it may be served hot as a side dish to accompany grilled, broiled or barbecued poultry and meat, or as a main course with a dollop of creamy yogurt. When runner beans are in season, it is a favourite family meal, served with yogurt and lots of warm, fresh crusty bread to mop up the sauce. The taste of fresh dill is an essential part of the dish. These olive oil dishes, which have survived from the Ottoman Empire, include leeks cooked in olive oil, celeriac, green beans, artichokes, and borlotti beans.


1-2 onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp olive oil
500 g / 1 1/4 lb stringless runner (green) beans, trimmed and each cut into 3-4 pieces
15 ml / 1 tbsp honey or a sprinkle of stevia
2 x 400 g / 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
sea salt and ground pepper


1) Put the onions, garlic and oil in a wide heavy pan and stir over a low heat until they soften. Toss in the beans, coating them in the onions and oil, then stir in the sugar and lemon juice.

2) Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and add the dill. Cook gently for 35-40 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the tomato sauce is fairly thick.

3) Season with sea salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Serves 4 (as a main dish)

From Turkish Cooking: Classic traditions, Fresh ingredients, Authentic flavours, Aromatic recipes by Ghillie Basan.

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