I was delighted to spot some lovely runner beans in my local market the other day; they are packed with flavor and freshness and we like to cook them in olive oil with onions and tomatoes.
This is such an easy, delicious and healthy vegetarian course that you can serve as a starter or an accompaniment to grilled meat. Green beans cooked this way are a great national favorite. Enjoyed by the urban and rural families alike, there are varying theories of how to achieve the best result. Traditionally, zeytinyagli dishes (vegetables cooked in olive oil) are prepared in advance and served at room temperature, as a meze or vegetable course. French, runner and dwarf beans are all suitable to be prepared this way. Once cooked, you can store in the fridge for a good 2-3 days.
Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time – 15 minutes Cooking time – 40 minutes
500 gr / 1.1 lb runner (green) beans, trimmed and cut into 3 pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
45 ml /3 tablespoon olive oil
400 gr / 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
lemon wedges to serve
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the beans and canned tomatoes and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Pour over the water, add the sugar, season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool in the pan. İn Turkish cooking, it is important for the the vegetables cooked in oil to cool and rest in the pan it is cooked for the flavors to blend well.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.