I had my first green bean when I was nine years old. It emerged frozen in a little plastic bag…
Defrosted and cooked by someone (not quite sure who, my memory is rather fuzzy on this point), it was the most disgusting thing I had ever put in my mouth. Mushy with a nasty old-bean smell, yuck!
I refused the rest immediately and never ate another green bean until almost one decade later, when I saw some fresh green beans at a local ethnic market. I bravely gave it another go- blanched, sauteed in garlic, oil and topped with chopped herbs, they were suprisingly delicious!
Nowadays I’m immediately drawn to the fresh green beans in the store. I added a Greek twist to it, braising the beans with tomato, spices and herbs. I like to have it cold or at room temperature with Chickpea Saffron Rice and Cucumber Yogurt Dip on the side. Perfect for vegetarians, or people who just like the darn green things, like me!
Greek Style Tomatoed Green Beans
3 TB oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced into cubes
3/4 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup dried parsley
1 tsp minced garlic, or garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-3/4 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan over med-high heat. Add the onion, cook for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. Add the potato and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until they start turning translucent as well. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir together. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, with the lid slightly ajar, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or cold.