Greek Green Beans with Tomatoes
This is another green (although not leafy) vegetable the Italian loves. I remember this dish from my childhood eating Sunday dinner at my Greek grandparents’ house in the Bronx. The house would always smell of rosemary and garlic, roast lamb and some sort of vegetable stewing slowly on the stove. This was one of my favorites along with spinach and rice (recipe to come).
You can use any kind of green bean although the tiny french beans might be a bit flimsy. I usually use stringless flat Italian Romano beans. Here in London I found stringless helda beans which taste and cook the same to me.
This recipe is not set in stone. Beans and tomatoes are different sizes, spices are fresh or dried, tomatoes vary in sweetness. This recipe is a jumping off point. You will need to adjust the amount of spice, water and time to cook to suit your taste.
Serve with Greek-style roast leg of lamb or baked fish (recipes to come) or even a simple roast chicken.
3 tablespoons olive oil or enough to coat bottom of pan
1 small or half a medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped very fine or crushed
8 ounces (250g) fresh green beans
8 ounces (250g) fresh tomatoes (I used plum cherry tomotoes that are super sweet)
½ teaspoon sea salt (I used fleur de sel, my new favorite)
ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3 tablespoons of water and more as needed
Heat olive oil over low-to medium heat in saute pan that has a lid. Saute onions until they start to get translucent then add the garlic. Trim ends from beans then cut into two-inch pieces; add to pan and stir. Cut cherry tomatoes in half or cut larger tomatoes into quarters or eighths depending on how large they are. toss into the pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper, chopped dill and rosemary on top and stir. Add three tablespoons of water and cover. Let cook for ten minutes and check to see beans are not sticking. Add a little water if necessary. Continue to cook until beans are soft, about 20-30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.