Greek Green Beans

Served here with boiled now potatoes straight from the garden and a drizzle of olive oil.

This is such a simple and beautiful dish, inspired by the simple beautiful food of Greece.  I have visited quite a few of the Greek islands during my years before children and have enjoyed similar dishes to this, slow cooked, tender, tangy and rich.

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More beans to come – I’m not sure how I’ll keep up!

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This is an excellent way to make good use of a basket full of beans.  My 20 or so french and runner bean plants have only just got going – giving us another large handful of fresh tender beans every day… and with more shoots and flowers now forming I believe the glut has only just begun.  This can be made and left to simmer for a half hour or more on a low heat, and is perfect served warm with fresh new potatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.  It can be served as a side dish, with other mediterranian foods and salads, or can hold it’s own with some rice or crusty bread as a main meal.

serves 4-6 as a generous side dish

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil (30p)
  • 1 medium onion (20p)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (25p)
  • 500g of green bean  – runner or french, both work well (£2.45)
  • 1 400g tin of tomatoes* (89p)
  • the juice of one lemon – and another to serve alongside in wedges (50p)
  • 1/2 tsp of chili flakes – optional (16p)
  • salt and lots of black pepper

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Simply fry the chopped onion and sliced garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes over a medium heat, until they are soft and slightly browned.

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This is what it should look like one all the ingredients are combined…

Cut the beans in half and add them to the pan, along with the tin of tomatoes, the lemon juice, and the chill flakes if you are using them.

Simmer the mixture with a lid on for at least half an hour, until the beans are beautifully soft and tender and then season generously with salt and a lot of black pepper.

To serve, drizzle with a little more olive oil and a wedge of lemon on the side.

This recipe could also be prepared for the slow cooker, simply fry the onions and garlic, and then add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, cooking on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5.

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… And this is what it should look like forty minutes later.

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This batch of beans costs about £4.75 to make if you are buying all your organic ingredients from a supermarket or a veg box scheme, but I’d imagine most of you have found this recipe as you have a whole load of ‘free’ beans to use up, and therefore it’ll cost you almost nothing!

*  You could obviously use fresh tomatoes here.  My tomato plants have not done very well this year and I’m still waiting for a small ripe crop to appear, but if you have a glut of tomatoes too, I’d suggest using 500g of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped for a very similar dish.

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